Feb 6, 2024 - Real Estate

Single women are winning real estate in Florida

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 Florida — and overall homeownership is now majority female.

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

  • Florida has the fifth-largest share of single-women homeowners in the nation, according to LendingTree.

State of play: The gender pay gap and inequitable caregiving responsibilities have historically served as barriers to homeownership for women.

  • In recent years, however, the U.S. has seen a rise in the number of women homeowners — and a substantial shift toward women-led households, Urban Institute researcher Jung Hyun Choi tells Axios.
  • Census data show that more than 14.5% of homes in Florida are owned by single women, compared to about 10% by single men.

Zoom in: In the Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater and North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton metro areas, single women homeowners eclipse single men by just over six percentage points, according to a census analysis from Porch.

  • In Lakeland-Winterhaven, the difference is 7.24 percentage points.
  • Homosassa Springs is the only Tampa Bay region where men have a larger share by just 1.76 points.

The big picture: Solo women mortgage applicants made up 18% of the national 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.

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

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 women with children also face low homeownership rates compared to other groups, including single men with children, Choi's research shows.
avatar

Get more local stories in your inbox with Axios Tampa Bay.

🌱

Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more

More Tampa Bay stories

No stories could be found

Tampa Baypostcard

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

🌱

Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more