March is Women's History Month, a special month created to help spread awareness worldwide for women's rights and gender equality. According to its official website
, Women's History Month celebrates "the contributions women have made to the United States and recognize the specific achievements women have made over the course of American history in a variety of fields."
Historically, women have been paid less than their male counterparts, which has led to a pay gap. Additionally, women tend to stay home longer after childbirth. These factors can work against women in terms of their credit profile, income, and credit rating, creating a disadvantage when applying for credit. In the last 15 years, legislative efforts have helped improve these gaps, but there is still significant work to be done. According to 2019 statistics provided by Women in the Housing & Real Estate Ecosystem (NAWRB):
- Women earn about 80 cents for every dollar a man earns, or 25% less than men.
- Homes owned in the U.S. by single women are worth less than those owned by single men.
- Homes owned by single men are worth 10% more than single women's homes.
- Homes owned by single men appreciate 16% faster than single women's homes.
Despite the inequity, women have much more buying power. According to a 2019 National Association of Realtors Report, single women are the second-largest group of homebuyers, exceeded only by married couples. Single women accounted for nearly 20% of the home purchases in 2019, while single men accounted for only 9%. And a recent report from LendingTree says single women own more than 1.5 million more homes than men in the country's 50 largest metro areas.
So why are single women so active in the home purchase marketplace? A 2018 Bank of America Homebuyer report states 73% of women say owning a home is a top priority, while only 65% of men said homeownership was a priority. Rising rents may be a factor as well. In a study conducted by Builders Digital Experience, 23% of single women cited rising rents as a motivation for a home purchase, versus the 16% average for all recent buyers.
Jody Fox, a real estate broker in Kansas City, says she's witnessed the changes in home buying behavior for single women over the years. "Single women homebuyers are definitely out there, more now than when I began selling homes 20 years ago. The information on the home buying process that was once very vague is now plentiful online. Women are confident and assured of their actions and seek professional realtors, mortgage bankers, and inspectors they can trust. The single women that I have had the pleasure of working with want information. I make sure to be very direct with the expectations of their transaction. This is only the beginning, women who once thought that purchasing a home was out of their reach now realize that owning a home is the best investment they can make for themselves. We are invincible if you didn't know!"
Even as the gender pay gap shrinks at a much-too-slow pace, single women's buying power will continue to shape the future of home purchases. If you have questions about purchasing a home, talk to the experts at NASB at 855-465-0753.