Milwaukee ranks as a top market for single women to buy homes

Milwaukee ladies don’t need a partner to buy a home. 

Of course not. It’s 2017. 

Milwaukee ranked sixth on a new list of the 20 best places around the country for single and unmarried women to purchase a home, according to an analysis by Owners.com, an online real estate brokerage.

For the ranking, Owners.com analyzed approximately 50 metropolitan areas around the nation, taking into account the average home value, median female income, annual crime rate, walkability and public transportation, and the price of dinner for two people.

The average home price in the Milwaukee market was $190,000.

“It’s a huge component of the market now,” said Mike Ruzicka, president of the Greater Milwaukee Association of Realtors. “It started in the early ’90s becoming a significant segment and grew tremendously.” 

Just in the past year, single female buyers increased 2%.

For decades, single women have eclipsed single men in homeownership. While 19% of Milwaukee homebuyers are single females, just 7% are single males, according to the 2016 profile of homebuyers and sellers in Milwaukee from the National Association of Realtors. The majority — 60% — are married couples.

Beth Jaworski, a real estate agent in Milwaukee for 25 years, sells dozens of homes a year, often to single women. Jaworski also bought a house when she was 30 and single. 

“No waiting for Mr. Right or a family,” she said. “It was scary, but it was the best thing I ever did.”

Jaworski bought a duplex in Wauwatosa, earning extra money from a renter to steady her commission-based income. 

RELATED: These are the best cities for women to buy a home

Single and unmarried women have been outpacing single and unmarried men in homeownership across the country since 1981, with no end to the trend in sight, according to the National Association of Realtors. In 2016, 17% of single and unmarried women were homeowners, compared with 7% of single and unmarried men.

In Milwaukee, single women said the primary reason for purchasing a home was the desire to own property, while single men cited a change in their family situation most often. 

Nationally, the desire to have a property of their own ranked highest among both men and women, according to surveys conducted by the National Association of Realtors on first-time homeowners. But unmarried and single women also showed a strong desire to own a home close to family and friends.

In March, Jawarski helped Michelle Mullen-Burkart buy her first home in Milwaukee’s Kops Park neighborhood. Mullen-Burkart was done renting, especially after comparing what her mortgage payments would be. 

Mullen-Burkart, 28, wanted a home in a safe neighborhood with a fenced-in yard for her two American Staffordshire terriers. She was also thinking about moving into a new apartment that would cost nearly $1,500 a month with pet fees. 

“I’m not in a relationship at this point in my life, but I’m just really happy at this stage in my life,” Mullen-Burkart said. “(Buying a house is) something that I wanted to do. I’m not the type to wait around until I had a man to buy a house with. Women are waiting longer to get married, have children. And that’s just the lifestyle that I lead.”

She found a three-bedroom, two-bathroom house with a yard for her dogs and a garage for $133,000. The home had recently been flipped and had the cherry cabinets, granite counter tops and wood floors she wanted. She pays about $850 a month toward her mortgage. For her, it just didn’t make sense to wait. 

Sarah Hauer can be reached at shauer@journalsentinel.com, twitter.com/SarahHauer or instagram.com/hauersarahKellie Ell of USA Today contributed to this report. 

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 

4. Albany-Schenectady, N.Y. 

5. Atlanta-Athens-Clarke County-Sandy Springs, Ga. 

6. Milwaukee-Racine-Waukesha, Wis. 

7. Hartford-West Hartford, Conn.

8. Minneapolis-St. Paul

9. Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill, N.C. 

10. Chicago-Naperville, Ill. 

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, Wash. 

16. Denver-Aurora, Colo. 

17. Sacramento-Roseville, Calif.

18. New York-Newark

19. Los Angeles-Long Beach 

20. San Jose-San Francisco-Oakland

Top Headlines from Business:

Million dollar view: Home across from Lambeau Field for sale for $1 million

How do you protect yourself after Equifax breach? Here’s what one financial pro did

Beyond southeastern Wisconsin, state businesspeople generally support Foxconn package