Single Women Now Dominate Homebuying Landscape

Single women are beating their male counterparts in homeownership rates.

A report from Maxwell found that single women account for 22% of the homebuying market. Overall, they own 2.71 million more homes than single men.

Millennials and Gen Z buyers are spearheading this trend, representing the biggest age demographic of these solo buyers, with over half of female applicants under the age of 34 compared to 40% of men.

Part of the shift comes from the changing financial status of the youngest generations. While the gender pay gap remains a problem, women younger than 30 earn at least as much as men younger than 30 in 22 U.S. metros, especially large economic centers like New York, D.C., and Los Angeles.

They’re also an incredibly diverse cohort, with nearly 40% identifying as Black, Hispanic, Latino, Asian, or multiracial. That once again beats out their male counterpoints, of whom only 21% identify as non-white.

That data doesn’t reflect the overall experience of minority buyers, unfortunately, as single Latina and Black women have the lowest homeownership rates in America across all ages. But it does reflect ongoing changes to the buyer landscape as increasingly diverse generations age into prime homeowning years.

Notably, women with partners were also highly likely to buy a home without a co-signer. One in three said they chose that path because they were in a better financial position than their partner.

This is a major shift from past decades when men dominated the space. In 1990, less than a third of total both married and single households were headed by females. By 2021, that number shot up to 51%.

Buyers still report backlash to the idea of single women achieving the American Dream, however. One buyer told The Washington Post that she lost six bidding wars against couples while househunting.

Another, 25-year-old Nadja Amaguana, noted that she continues to face prejudice even after her purchase.

“It’s always, ‘Can I speak to the homeowner?” she said. “And it’s like, ‘I am the homeowner.”

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