Jan 30, 2024 - Real Estate

Single women are winning real estate in Michigan

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

Single women in Michigan own more homes than single men.

Why it matters: Sixty years ago, women couldn't even get a credit card or a mortgage without a male cosigner. Now, the share of single women homeowners in the U.S. eclipses that of single men.

Driving the news: Nationwide, 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.

  • One in three women homebuyers who have partners purchased solo because they were in a stronger financial position to do so, Maxwell's annual Single Women Home Buyer Report found.

State of play: Census data shows 13.2% of housing units in Michigan are owned by single women, compared with 11.4% by single men.

What they're saying: We're seeing a national rise in the number of women homeowners — and a strong shift toward women-led households, Urban Institute researcher Jung Hyun Choi tells Axios.

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

  • That increase was mostly driven by married households, Choi says.
  • In married U.S. households, 43% claimed to be female-headed in 2021, compared with 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 country.

  • "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 women with children also face low homeownership rates compared with other groups, including single men with children, 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.

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