Women and Homeownership

Women and Homeownership

All the single ladies are doing more than putting their hands up per Beyonce's girl power anthem. They're also outpacing single men in homeownership – women are second only to married couples in the home buying market since the National Association of Realtors (NAR) started collecting related data in 1981.

Single women own approximately 2.64 million more homes than single men across all 50 states. A study by Lending Tree using 2021 United States census data shows that single women own roughly 10.7 million homes in America compared to 8.1 million owned by single men. This means that on average, single women own 12.90% of the owner-occupied homes compared to 10.06% for single men.

Despite the financial and societal obstacles that most women face, they are prioritizing owning a home – and the wealth creation that comes with it – rather than spending on non-essential goods, entertainment, clothes, and vacations. Results from an analysis conducted in 2021 by – NAR show that 42% of single women sacrifice financially compared to 32% of single men who purchase homes.

According to First American Financial Corp. Deputy Chief Economist Odeta Kushi, the median homeowner in the United States has 40 times the household wealth of a renter. (The data shows a large disparity gap: $255,000 for a homeowner vs. $6,000 for a renter.)

Prior to the passage of the Fair Housing Act in 1974, women had no legal recourse under federal law for any kind of lending discrimination. After the sex discrimination prohibitions in the Fair Housing Act and the protections of the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, women were legally protected to obtain a mortgage without a co-signer.

Why are single women taking the lead over single men in homeownership? Data shows that the top three motivators for women are:

  1. desire to own stable housing on a continual basis
  2. household composition (single moms and multigenerational homes) and the importance of purchasing close to family and friends
  3. change in family situation (e.g., divorced or widowed)

According to the American Community Survey (ACS) 1-Year Estimate Public Use Microdata Sample, there were 5,178 single male homeowners versus 8,067 single female homeowners in Ohio in 2021.

"At OHFA, we focus on helping Ohioans realize their dream of homeownership," says OHFA Executive Director Shawn Smith. "In fact, over the last five fiscal years, OHFA's seven loan programs have assisted 7,690 single women and 6,582 single men become homeowners."

With rising real estate prices and the increasing cost of renting, women are taking advantage of more initiatives and policies to help them achieve financial stability and independence. OHFA's programs include:

  • Your Choice! Down Payment Assistance
  • Ohio Heroes
  • Grants for Grads
  • Mortgage Tax Credit (MTC)
  • Next Home
  • Refinance Program
  • Previous MTC Holders

For more information, visit myohiohome.org.