For decades, the stereotypical Destin home buyer was a married couple in their mid-30s with 1 or 2 children. Condominium buyers were typically young, working couples with no children or empty-nesters tired of spending time and money on home maintenance. Most singles were assumed to prefer the cheaper, no-maintenance lifestyle of apartment living. Of course, the problem with stereotypes is that they are gross generalizations. Plenty of exceptions can always be found to the “rule.” There are singles who own Fort Walton Beach homes, couples with children who prefer Destin condo life, older couples who wouldn’t think of moving out of their family home, and empty-nesters who choose apartment living. But even so, until recently, single women were more apt to invest in a Destin condo than a South Walton home when they were ready to put apartment life behind them.
More affluent than ever before, single women are breaking old stereotypes. In many major job markets, single women out-earn their male counterparts -- and they’re investing their earnings in real estate. Last year, 20% of all home buyers nationwide were single women, according to the National Association of Realtors. Single men made up only 12% of the national home real estate market. While the economic slowdown has resulted in declining home purchases across most real estate demographics, Destin home purchases by single women have been steadily increasing. And again, women are breaking stereotypes. Single women home buyers range from professional women in their early to mid-30s to older women in their 50s and 60s, from career women who aren’t ready to settle down to newly single divorcees and widows. Experienced Destin Realtors say single women comprise the fastest growing segment of the home real estate market and are quickly becoming a major force in Destin home sales.