MReport April 2021

TheMReport — News and strategies for the evolving mortgage marketplace.

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50 | M REPORT O R I G I NAT I O N S E R V I C I N G DATA G O V E R N M E N T S E C O N DA R Y M A R K E T THE LATEST DATA Small Town America Eyed as Relocation Destination In 2020, small cities became a big attraction for those on the move. A new report from moveBuddha has found that, in 2020, small cities became a big attraction for those on the move. With remote work on the rise, more Americans are opting for comfort and luxury over com- muter time, as a January Gallup poll found 48% of Americans interested in moving to a small town or rural area. Using proprietary data from moveBuddha's Moving Cost Calculator, Author Joe Robinson determined which small cities in the U.S.—defined as those with a population ranging from 5,000 to 50,000—were most searched as moving destinations in 2020. Topping the list of small-town destinations most popular among movers was Naples, Florida with a population of just 22,088, Naples- bound homebuyers saw a bargain market, with homes listing for a median sales price of $107,013. Rounding out the top 10 small town destinations for movers: • Myrtle Beach, South Carolina with a population of 34,695 • Venice, Florida with a popula- tion of 23,985 • Burlington, Vermont with a population of 42,819 • Bozeman, Montana with a population of 49,831 • Hilton Head Island, South Carolina with a population of 39,861 • Avon Park, Florida with a population of 10,689 • Bluffton, South Carolina with a population of 25,557 • Prescott, Arizona with a popu- lation of 44,299 • Shelbyville, Tennessee with a population of 22,101 Some of these destinations sit on the outskirts of sprawling cities, such as Katy, Texas, just west of Houston, while others are beachside paradises (Myrtle Beach, South Carolina and Naples, Florida). Of note, of the 100 on the list, 23 of these small cities were located in the Sunshine State. A Pew Research survey con- ducted in February found that as 2020 progressed, a majority of 28% cited "Risk of COVID-19" as their most important reason for moving, whereas in November, 33% of Americans stated "Financial Reasons" were their primary motivation. Single-Women Homeowners Outpace Males A study of the nation's top 50 metros has found that single women nationwide are owning homes at a higher percentage than U.S. males. L endingTree has found that when it comes to gender and homeownership, single women are more likely than single men to own a home in each of the nation's 50 largest metros. In the nation's 50 largest metros, single women own nearly 1.6 million more homes than single men, as nationwide, single women own about 5.2 million homes, while single men own approximately 3.6 million homes. According to LendingTree, there isn't a single metro among the largest 50 in the U.S. where single men own more homes than single women. The average difference between the share of homes owned by single women compared to single men is 3.7%. "It's difficult to pin down what's behind the gender gap in homeownership rates," said the LendingTree report. "There is some evidence to suggest that single women prioritize owning a home more than single men do, which could help explain why they're more likely to buy houses. That being said, the studies and surveys conducted on this topic are far from conclusive and other factors could be at play." Tampa, Florida was the metro with the largest share of single- women homeowners, with 787,384 owner-occupied households, 16.83% of those were owned and occupied by single women and 11.63% by single men, a difference of 5.2%. In the Cleveland metro area, among the listed 559,157 owner- occupied households, 16.2% were owned and occupied by single women, with single men comprising a share of 11.66%, a gender gap difference of 4.54%. On the other end of the spectrum, the Buffalo, New York market saw the largest share of homes owned by single men. Of 314,126 owner-occupied households in Buffalo, 12.2% were owned and occupied by men, while 15.93% were owned and occupied by women, a difference of 3.73%. The metro Boston region had the largest gap in homeownership rates among single women and men at 5.87%. Of Boston's 1,130,182 owner-occupied homes, 13.54% of that share was for single women and 7.68% by single men, a difference of approximately 66,300 homes or 5.86%. The Las Vegas metro has the smallest gap in homeownership rates among single women and men of just 0.45%. Single women still led the charge with a 12.36% share of the region's 421,252 owner- occupied households, while single men accounted for an 11.91% share, a difference of approximately 1,900 homes total.

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