Single women outpace single men in homeownership

Although U.S. women still trail men in pay on average, single women are now buying more homes on their own than single men.

Sixty years ago, women often couldn't even get a mortgage without a male cosigner.  Today, single women own 2.7 million more homes than single men.


"So good to see you," Lacie Lugo says, opening her front door to her realtor, Tricia Turner.  

Lacie Lugo is proud to show off the house she just bought by herself.

A single mother, Lugo wanted a stable home for her family.

"I believe that, as a mother, financial and physical stability for your children is extremely important to be able to give them a place to grow," she said.

And she wanted to build equity in the home and invest in their future.  The National Association of Realtors reports a home bought in 2011 accumulated an average of $225,000 in housing wealth by 2021.  

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While the majority of homes in the U.S. are purchased by couples, more single women are buying homes than single men, despite that women earn an average of $0.82 for every dollar that a man earns, according to the Pew Research Center.  

U.S. Census data shows single men own 8.1 million homes.  Single women own 10.7 million.

"You'll see women sit down with a financial advisor and see, If I’m going to buy a home, what do I need for down payment? How long do I need? What kind of reserves do I need? What is my monthly payment going to be?" explained realtor Tricia Turner of the Tricia Turner Group.

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The purchase can be made easier for many buyers -- male, female, or couples -- because a 20% down payment is not required for some home loans.

"Let’s get in the home now when you’re looking at 3% down payment, 3.5%. You’ve got some money in reserves and you’ve got an asset," said Turner.

But it can provide a 100% brighter future.

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"It feels very bright, like I'm capable of doing anything I set my mind to, and being able to enjoy the fruits of my labor at the same time," said Lugo.

There are a number of resources to help first time homebuyers, including down payment assistance for those who qualify, through the City of Houston, Harris County, the Houston Housing Authority, Texas State Affordable Housing Corporation, and Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs.

With mortgage rates still high, here are tactics homebuyers are using to manage home purchases, according to NerdWallet:

  • A temporary mortgage rate buydown
  • Using part of their down payment to pay off other debt
  • Homebuyer assistance programs
  • Asking the seller to finance the purchase
  • Buying lower-priced fixer-uppers