Female Home Buyers Prefer mortgage over marriage

female buyers reportHere is podcast by Linda Leatherdale, money editor of The Toronto Sun and host of MONEY LINE on Rogers Television, and Lisa DaRocha, VP Marketing and Communications, Royal LePage Real Estate Services, discuss how more and more females are driving housing demand and hammering away at renovations.

The first ever Royal LePage Female Buyers report finds that 30 per cent of single, never-before married women own their own home, strengthening the female home buyer potential.

Female Home Buyers Report

LINDA: Welcome to the Royal Lepage Helping You in Real Estate Podcasts. I’m your host Linda Leatherdale. This series of podcasts will feature some of Royal Lepage’s most knowledgeable experts to provide valuable information on the residential property market. In this segment we look at women and the role they are playing in Canadian real estate. Now an interesting study commissioned by Royal Lepage finds that contrary to popular belief women actually favor mortgage over marriage. Today we have Lisa da Rocha, vice president of marketing communications at Royal LePage to shed some light on this very interesting topic. Hi Lisa thanks for joining us.

LISA: Thank you Linda.

LINDA: Now it seems, Lisa, that women are playing an increasingly important role in the real estate transaction. What impact are they currently having and how do you expect this to impact the future real estate market?

LISA: Well we’re seeing women owning in higher numbers their own homes. In fact our study showed that 30% of single never-before-married women own their home today and another 31% are looking at purchasing within the next 3 years. So they are absolutely out there looking to purchase a home. They’re financially independent and looking at home ownership as a good investment for the long term.

LINDA: Ok, so the gap used to be men earned a lot more than women and that gap seems to be narrowing now. So they’re no longer looking for Mr. Right to buy that home for them.

LISA: Women are achieving career success and they are financially independent and they are looking at home ownership on their own with confidence.

LINDA: So I guess what we’re seeing here is that gap between what men earned, obviously they earned more than women, it’s narrowing and they’re no longer waiting for Mr. Right to buy them that home; and we’re also seeing the change in the priorities of women when it comes to real estate. How is their mind-set shifting?

LISA: In our offices more and more we’re working with women that have achieved success in their careers, they’re financially independent and they’re really looking to build their home equity. So having experienced some of the strong real estate market over the last few years and really realizing the strong case for homes and property as a long term investment, we’re seeing women choosing to invest in homes in much larger numbers.

LINDA: Ok, and what kind of price range are these women looking at?

LISA: Well about 56% of the women that we researched were looking for property between $150,000 to $350,000, and another about 10% were looking at properties over $350,000.

LINDA: Wow, that’s a lot of money. What are these women doing in order to get that nest egg together to be able to afford a home?

LISA: Well, today, women do have more money and they are more financially independent, but they also have a plan. They’re sitting down with financial advisors and really looking at what are the steps they need to take in order to build that down- payment for that home that they want. And obviously we all know that there is a pride in home ownership and women are willing to make some of the sacrifices that are necessary in order to, you know, have that pride and fulfillment in owning your own home.

LINDA: Okay, something I found really interesting is a mortgage over marriage. I mean really, now what is that all about?

LISA: Well one of the questions that we asked was; you know how willing would you be, or would you be willing to forgo a wedding reception in order to put a higher down- payment on a home, on a mortgage. And 34% of females said that yes, they would be more than willing to forgo that wedding reception. And what’s actually quite interesting is that, that number was higher than men. So men were less willing to forgo the wedding reception, and what we’ve seen from 2004 to 2007 is an increase in the number of women who are willing to forgo that wedding reception.

LINDA: Wow, we know those wedding receptions can cost a lot of money so that can go towards the down-payment. Now women; I mean in the driver’s seat, in the buying process, I mean are they intimidated by this?

LISA: Well we asked that question and 66% of them said that they would not at all be intimidated by going at it alone. And so we’re seeing that in a lot of different areas, I mean 25% of the women, were specifically looking for a fixer-upper. So they’re not only not afraid of purchasing a home on their own, they are more than willing to take on home renovations on their own as well.

LINDA: That is amazing; getting the old tool belt out and able to fix it up themselves; now is this a national trend, is this happening across Canada?

LISA: We are seeing a national trend of an increase in home ownership among females, and we’re also seeing females more willing to take on renovations or you know a fixer- upper. However there are certain areas, some Canadian cities that have shown an increase in terms of that and those are notably; Toronto, Halifax and Regina.

LINDA: What are the reasons? Why those cities?

LISA: Well there are probably a couple of different reasons; one might be, you know the retailers in those cities are really pushing the do-it-yourself. And women in those cities have embraced it and are looking forward to building their equity by doing renovations.

LINDA: Well thank you Lisa for sharing your views on women in real estate, it’s really interesting. We’d also like to thank you, our audience, for listening in. I’m Linda Leatherdale, join us again for our next Podcast.