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Single women make up growing portion of home buyers

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GOODYEAR, Ariz. -

Construction on new homes is at its fastest pace in 4 and a half years. Builders broke ground on more than 600,000 homes last month.

Now more and more builders are focusing on a new kind of customer.

Single ladies, put your hands up if you're a homeowner. New research shows that women are viewing home ownership as more than just a smart investment -- it's also a symbol of success.

"Single woman, we've evolved I guess, taking care of ourselves," says Goodyear homeowner Diane Dunn.

According to the National Board of Realtors, single women are the second largest group of homeowners.

That's forcing builders to change the way they design homes to focus on what women want -- homes that are comfortable, low-maintenance, and affordable.

One of the must-haves for single-women homeowners is security.

"You see the patrol go by on a regular basis, checking things out and I just think safety is a big factor for single woman."

Communities are also catering to the growing customer base by holding events designed to help singles make new friends in their neighborhood.

At Goodyear's pebble creek, residents get together to take walks, play cards, or enjoy some competition on the green.

"Once you find that person who's got that common bond with you, be it something athletic, be it something that you share in the arts or singing or even your knowledge or fun of trivia, you do see the same people coming together," says Melissa Kallett, Pebble Creek Recreation Director.

Buying a home is once again looking like a solid investment here in the valley.

The Phoenix metro area is leading the nation in recovering home values with prices up 35 percent from last year.

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