Jan 31, 2024 - News

North Carolina sees high growth of single women buying homes

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

All the single ladies are becoming homeowners.

What's happening: Single women own more homes than single men — in North Carolina and across the country, Axios' Brianna Crane and Alice Feng report.

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 status in 2021.

  • One 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.

State of play: Census data shows single women own close to 14% of North Carolina homes, compared to just over 9% of single men.

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

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.

Yes, but: 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.

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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