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Victoria Real Estate in High Demand By Single Women.

With a chequebook firmly in one hand and a hammer confidently in the other single female home-buyers of all ages continue to knock down barriers by purchasing real estate and tackling home repairs. Currently, 30 per cent of single, never-before married women own their own home, while 45 per cent of divorced or separated women and 64 per cent of widowed women are homeowners, according to the Royal LePage Female Buyers Report released today.Poll results found that of the single, never-before married women who are not yet homeowners, 31 per cent say they will potentially purchase their next home within three years. While more than half (56%) of women who own and rent who intend to purchase in the next three years are shopping for a property in the $150,000 to $350,000 price range, 10 per cent have slightly fatter pocket books and are looking for a property priced from $350,000.“The notable upswing in real estate activity among females is not surprising given that women are earning higher salaries than ever before,” said Lisa da Rocha, vice president, marketing, Royal LePage Real Estate Services. “There has been a shift in mindset whereby women have distanced themselves from the traditional notion that you must first find Mr. Right and then together you buy a home. Our findings reveal that 66 per cent of women who intend to purchase would not find the process of buying a home on their own intimidating.

Preparing for Home Ownership
Women are embracing the home buying process and taking charge. They are readying themselves for bidding wars and willing to take on various types of home renovations. Of the women polled who own or rent and intend to purchase a home in the next three years, 56 per cent are willing to participate in bidding wars, in comparison to only 49 per cent of men who are willing to compete. The frequency of bidding wars tends to vary across regions, and also fluctuates among buyer demographics. For example, in Vancouver, female buyers are used to the all too common bidding wars, according to qualitative research. In Vancouver, the price of entry is usually attached to a bidding war. If it is a property they want, women are not deterred from multiple offer situations.

When current female homeowners and renters who intend to purchase in the next three years were asked, “When searching for your home, which type of home would you be looking for?” 25 per cent said that they are looking for a ‘fixer-upper’ and plan to do the work themselves, while only nine per cent will hire a contractor.

While the rise in female home-buyers is prevalent in all the major Canadian cities examined, some regional variances were noted. Based on qualitative research, women in Toronto, Halifax and Regina are more prone to take on home renovations than women in other cities. In Halifax and Regina younger female purchasers will flirt with more cosmetic home renovations such as painting and flooring to enhance and update their properties. In contrast, in Toronto, older, more mature women consider larger renovations as a great way to increase their home’s equity.

“Single women now play a significant role in the housing market. Eager to experience the pride of ownership and exercise their independence, we are seeing growing numbers of women buying their first home on their own, trading-up homes as they progress professionally and taking on home renovations,” added da Rocha. “Today’s woman is much more financially astute than her counterpart a decade ago, and is well versed in real estate as a solid long-term investment.”

Challenging Traditions
More groomzilla than bridezilla? When it comes to signing on the dotted line, it is a mortgage certificate, not a marriage certificate that women favour. When asked, “Given the chance, how likely would you be to go without a wedding reception in order to put a larger down payment on your first home?” 34 per cent of women who will purchase their first home in the next three years said they were very likely to go without a reception, in comparison to 27 per cent of men who gave the same answer. And it seems both men and women have become less traditional with each passing year. A Royal LePage survey commissioned in 2004 found that 30 per cent of women and 15 per cent of men who were planning to buy their first home were very likely to forgo a wedding reception in order to put a larger down payment on their home.

Additional Poll Findings:

  • Among those who own and rent and intend to purchase a home/condo in the next three years, men and women both rank equally (81%) taking out a mortgage from a bank, however, nine per cent of men said they would rely on their family to pay for their entire home, in comparison to only three per cent of women.
  • Of women who own, who don’t intend to purchase in the next three years, when asked, “Which one of the following motivations most influenced your decision to purchase your home?” the top three responses included: it makes more sense than renting (36%), want to put my money into a good investment (22%) and pride of ownership (13%).
  • Among women who are intending to purchase in the next three years, when asked, “Which methods will you use to educate yourself about home purchasing?” the top three responses cited were speaking with a real estate agent (83%), speaking with friends and relatives (78%) and using real estate and financial websites (64%).

If you want all the details, check out the full Female Buyers Release or the Female Buyers Report . We would love to hear your comments.

In Closing, have a fantastic 2008. And don’t forget the new CBC show MVP starting tomorrow (Friday) night at 9pm, my niece Natalie Krill is “The Princess

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