Feb 16, 2024 - News

Single women are winning Texas real estate

Share of housing units owned and occupied by single women, 2022
Data: LendingTree. Map: Alice Feng/Axios

Single ladies, put your hands up.

What's happening: Sixty years ago, women couldn't get a credit card or mortgage without a male co-signer.

  • Now, the nation's share of single women homeowners eclipses that of single men, and overall homeownership is majority female.
  • In Texas, census data shows 10.7% of homes in Texas are owned by single women, compared to 8.5% by single men.

Why it matters: The gender pay gap and inequitable caregiving responsibilities have historically served as barriers for women.

  • But the rise in homeownership accompanies a strong shift toward women-led households, both single and married, Urban Institute researcher Jung Hyun Choi tells Axios.

The big picture: Solo women mortgage applicants made up 18% of the market in 2023 — a share that's slowly grown since mortgage platform Maxwell started tracking applicants' gender and marital status in 2021.

  • 1 in 3 women with partners bought alone because they were in a stronger financial position to do so, Maxwell's annual Single Women Home Buyer Report found.

Zoom out: In 1990, less than a third of total households (married and single) were headed by females. In 2021, the majority (51%) of households reported being female-headed.

  • That increase was mostly driven by married households, Choi says.
  • In married households, 43% reported to be female-headed in 2021, compared to just 8% in 1990.

Of note: In most age groups, women outnumber men. "This is more a reflection of strength in numbers than economic vitality," Pew researcher Richard Fry tells Axios.

The other side: Opportunity isn't equal. Single Latina and Black women have the lowest homeownership rates of any group in the U.S.

  • 39% of Latinas who are single and live alone owned a home in 2021, compared to close to 62% of non-Hispanic white women in similar circumstances, Axios' Astrid Galván reports.
  • Single mothers also face low homeownership rates compared to other groups, including fathers, Choi's research shows.

The intrigue: Maxwell's report shows Gen Zers and millennials made up the largest share of single women mortgage applicants in 2023.


Get more local stories in your inbox with Axios Austin.


Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more

More Austin stories

No stories could be found


Get a free daily digest of the most important news in your backyard with Axios Austin.


Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more