Recently, as we were catching up on some of our favorite HGTV shows, we were surprised to see that the host of Property Virgins, Sandra Rinomato, is no longer on the show. HGTV hasn’t updated their website with any info about the switch, so we went on a fact-finding mission to see what happened to the veteran real estate agent and beloved host. After a little digging around, we found out that Sandra, famous for helping first time buyers navigate the real estate market, is off creating the new show Buy Herself.

Currently in production and scheduled to premiere in March 2012, this new show, as the title suggests, follows women preparing to purchase homes on their own. Buy Herself is a reflection of the significant shift being seen in the demographics of homebuyers – for the first time in history, single women are the fastest growing segment of the real estate market. In fact, according to the Joint Center for Housing Studies, these women are buying homes at more than twice the rate of single men – buying one out of every five properties sold in the U.S. making women responsible for 25% of all home purchases.

It’s certainly no surprise to us that single women see the value in owning property and that they are no longer waiting for a so called “Mr. Right” to come along before taking the leap to homeownership, but what’s driving this significant change? This is up for debate depending on whom you ask.

For one, it’s a sign of the times. The traditional definition of “single woman” has expanded from being a woman that has never married to now include divorced, never married, separated and widowed women. This alone widens the field. Some industry insiders attribute the gender gap of homeownership to women now achieving greater success in the workplace than in the past. It’s also the first time women make up more than 50% of the workforce. Recent research by the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics shows women earn almost 60% of all college degrees, leading to workingwomen earning more substantial salaries, which in turn is creating a desire for women to build their wealth and create security for themselves through homeownership.

Although these are all exciting and interesting facts that shouldn’t be ignored,  according to the Joint Center for Housing Studies, there are three simple reasons single women are buying homes in record numbers: to relocate closer to a job or family; because they need more space; and, the No. 1 reason, because they have a strong desire to own a home.

Clearly, experts have come up with a lot of hypotheses regarding single women buying more homes than single men, but really it’s because women finally can, which we think is pretty terrific. Sandra Rinomato and Buy Herself will be a welcome change from the typical new buyer shows we have been watching, and we can’t wait to see these single women flaunt their independence and buying power too.

For tips on home buying visit The National Association of Realtors