It’s remarkable how much progress has been made in terms of women’s homeownership. Just a few decades ago, women faced significant barriers when it came to obtaining credit or a mortgage without a male cosigner. However, times have changed, and now single women own more homes than single men.
According to data from mortgage platform Maxwell, solo women mortgage applicants accounted for 18% of the market in 2023. This percentage has been steadily increasing since Maxwell began tracking applicants’ gender and marital status in 2021. Additionally, Maxwell’s annual Single Women Home Buyer Report revealed that one in three women with partners purchased homes on their own because they were in a stronger financial position to do so.
A LendingTree analysis of Census data further supports this trend, showing that single women own approximately 13% of owner-occupied homes across the 50 states, while single men own about 10.2%. Interestingly, Delaware, Louisiana, and Mississippi have the highest shares of single women homeowners, while Alaska, North Dakota, and South Dakota are the only states where single men own a larger share of homes compared to women.
This shift towards women-led households is significant and reflects a broader societal change. According to Urban Institute researcher Jung Hyun Choi, there has been a rise in the number of women homeowners and a strong shift towards women-led households. In fact, in 2021, the majority (51%) of households reported being female-headed, compared to less than a third in 1990. Choi notes that this increase is primarily driven by married households.
The fact that single women now own more homes than single men is a testament to the progress we have made in terms of gender equality and financial independence. It’s an empowering trend that highlights the growing economic strength and autonomy of women.
Version 1: The dynamics of households have undergone significant changes over the years. In 2021, 43% of married households identified as female-headed, a notable increase from the mere 8% reported in 1990. This shift, however, does not solely indicate economic vitality but rather highlights the strength in numbers, as women tend to outnumber men in most age groups, as highlighted by Pew researcher Richard Fry in an interview with Axios.
On the other hand, it is crucial to acknowledge that equal opportunities are not uniformly distributed. Single Latina and Black women face the lowest homeownership rates among all groups in the United States. According to Axios’ Astrid Galván, only 39% of single Latinas living alone owned a home in 2021, in stark contrast to the nearly 62% homeownership rate among non-Hispanic white women in similar circumstances.
Furthermore, research conducted by Choi reveals that single women with children also experience significantly lower homeownership rates compared to other groups, including single men with children. This disparity highlights the challenges faced by single women in achieving homeownership.
Interestingly, Maxwell’s report indicates that Gen Zers and millennials comprised the largest share of single women mortgage applicants in 2023. This suggests a growing trend among younger generations in actively pursuing homeownership, despite the existing obstacles.
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