Photo: Flickr / jenniferlstoddart
It may not be a good thing that homeownership rates are soaring among single women.Wall Street Journal contributor Kate Bolick says probably isn’t worth the emotional and financial investment:
“Buying offers ‘the ineffable qualities of ownership’—that is, presumed emotional rewards—but at the cost of immobility, lost investment returns and continuing expenses (taxes, insurance, repairs, maintenance), which, for a $300,000 house in Newburyport, add up to $18,000 a year, or $1,500 a month …
Renting, by contrast, offers more pros than cons: greater mobility, no continuing costs, no maintenance responsibilities and investment returns on money not spent on ownership—which … could cover likely cover her rent.”
Broadly speaking, solo dwellers—who represent the biggest demographic shift since the baby boom, Bolick notes—might do more than their married counterparts to boost the economy.
As young professionals under 30 continue renting in urban meccas like L.A. and New York City, they’re bringing the sort of purchasing power hard-hit regions can only dream of.
Per Eric Klineberg, author of Going Solo: The Extraordinary Rise and Surprising Appeal of Living Alone: “They’ve been a kind of invisible and unappreciated force for economic productivity and growth,” he told Marketplace.org’s Kai Ryssdal. “If you took singles and all their purchasing power out of cities, they’d be in real trouble today.”