Mar 31, 2023 - Real Estate

Young single women lose homeownership gains

Illustration of a welcome mat that says SIGHHH instead of welcome.

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

Young single women had almost closed the homeownership gap with young single men in 2021. But that long-running trend has now reversed.

Driving the news: Single women's homeownership rate took a heavy hit in 2022 due, in part, to lower salaries, more volatile work experiences and more caregiving responsibilities, according to a recent Zillow analysis.

By the numbers: After growing to 28.6% by 2021, the nationwide homeownership rate for single women dropped to 24.5% last year, the analysis found.

  • That wiped out almost half the gains made since 2016, when single women's homeownership was 19.4% — 10.1 percentage points lower than the 29.6% rate of young single men.
  • At the same time, the homeownership rate for single men increased 2.7 percentage points in 2022 to 33.1%.

Zoom in: Zillow spokesperson Gina Cole told Axios how single women between the ages of 18 and 44 are faring in Seattle's housing market:

  • The median income for a single woman is $30,000 and the median list price of a home is $752,947.
  • Single women can afford 0.2% of the listings available in Seattle. That's 0.2 percentage points fewer than the share of listings affordable to single men.
  • Single women are able to afford only 54.55% of the listings that single men can afford.

What they're saying: "With rising and volatile mortgage rates furthering affordability challenges, the road to affordable homeownership remains an uphill battle, and it may take creative solutions or even doubling up in a home to achieve that dream," Skylar Olsen, chief economist at Zillow, said in a written statement.


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