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.

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