Feb 12, 2024 - News

Single women are winning Tennessee real estate

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

Single women own more homes than single men — in Tennessee and nationwide.

Why it matters: Sixty years ago, women couldn't get a credit card or a mortgage without a male co-signer. Now, the share of single women homeowners eclipses single men.

Driving the news: 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 statuses in 2021.

  • One in three 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.

State of play: Census data shows single women own more than 13% of Tennessee's homes, compared to 10% of single men.

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

What they're saying: There is a strong shift toward women-led households, Urban Institute researcher Jung Hyun Choi tells Axios.

By the numbers: Women were the primary breadwinners in less than a third of total households (married and single) in 1990. In 2021, the majority (51%) were women-headed.

  • That increase was mainly driven by married households, Choi says.
  • In married households, 43% claimed 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 single fathers, Choi's research shows.

Get more local stories in your inbox with Axios Nashville.


Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more

More Nashville stories

No stories could be found


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


Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more