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All the single ladies, listen up: The Midwest may be the best place for single and unmarried women to buy a new home, followed by Texas and upstate New York.
At least that's according to an analysis by Owners.com, an online real estate brokerage. The company released its list of the 20 best places around the U.S. for single and unmarried women to purchase a home.
Cincinnati, Ohio, took first place, followed by the Kansas City, Kansas and Kansas City-Missouri area, Dallas-Fort Worth and Albany-Schenectady, New York.
"More single women are making homeownership a reality," Phil Karp, senior manager of brokerage services at Owners.com, told USA TODAY. "They're choosing to make it happen." His wife, in fact, was a homeowner before they married, he said.
Owners.com analyzed approximately 50 metropolitan areas around the nation, taking into account the average home value; median female income in each city; annual crime rate; walkability and public transportation; and the price of dinner for two people.
Single and unmarried women have been outpacing single and unmarried men in homeownership since 1981, with no end to the trend in sight, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR). In 2016, 17% of single and unmarried women were homeowners, compared to 7% of single and unmarried men.
"I didn't need to wait until marriage to buy," said Hilary Sutcliffe, 35, who purchased her first home in South Egremont, Mass., near the upstate New York border, two years ago. "I had the money, so I thought, what am I going to do with it? The mortgage, with taxes and insurance, is comparable to rent. And there's a freedom to owning. I can paint my walls hot pink if I want."
The desire to have property of their own ranked highest among both men and women, according to surveys conducted by NAR on first-time homeowners But unmarried and single women also showed a strong desire to own a home close to family and friends. Sutcliffe, who lives with her boyfriend but is not married, is the sole owner of the three-bedroom home they share. She said she chose it largely because it was close to relatives.
It took Lynette Bruno, a real estate and lifestyle expert for Trulia, an online real estate website, 15 bids to land her dream home in San Francisco's Western Edition neighborhood.
"I always wanted to be a homeowner and I didn't care if I had a partner or not," said Bruno, who is in her late 30s. "I wanted a backyard so I could have the dog I always wanted."
Here are the 20 best places for single women to purchase a home according to Owners.com:
1. Cincinnati-Wilmington-Maysville, Ohio
2. Kansas City-Overland Park-Kansas City, (Kansas and Missouri)
3. Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas
4. Albany-Schenectady, New York
5. Atlanta-Athens-Clarke County-Sandy Springs, Georgia
6. Milwaukee-Racine-Waukesha, Wisconsin
7. Hartford-West Hartford, Connecticut
8. Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota
9. Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill, North Carolina
10. Chicago-Naperville, Illinois
11. Philadelphia-Reading-Camden (Pennsylvania, New Jersey)
12. Boston-Worcester-Providence, (Massachusetts, Rhode Island)
13. Washington-Baltimore-Arlington, (District of Columbia, Maryland, Virginia)
14. Portland-Vancouver-Salem, (Oregon, Washington)
15. Seattle-Tacoma, Washington
16. Denver-Aurora, Colorado
17. Sacramento-Roseville, California
18. New York-Newark, (New York, New Jersey)
19. Los Angeles-Long Beach, California
20. San Jose-San Francisco-Oakland, California