The Evolving Landscape of Women in Homeownership

March 1, 2024 | by Taylor Sheridan

March is Women’s History Month, a time where we recognize and honor the role and contribution made by women throughout our country’s history. To kick off the month, we’re taking a closer look at the evolving landscape of women in homeownership.

Sixty years ago, women couldn’t get a mortgage without a male cosigner. Fast forward to today, the landscape has dramatically changed. According to statistics reported by, women now drive more than 91% of all home purchase decisions. 

Single women also now outnumber single men in homeownership. According to census data, Axios Austin found that 10.7% of homes in Texas are owned by single women, compared to the 8.5% of homes owned by single men. The Pew Research Center found that of the 35.2 million homes owned by unmarried Americans in 2022, 58% were owned by single women. 

There have been more single women homeowners than single men homeowners since 1981 according to The National Association of Realtors ®. While the trends show that the marriage rate has dropped 7% since the 1990s, there are also other factors involved. Though women generally earn less than men, researchers have attributed their rate of homeownership to the following.  

  • Single women are more willing to make sacrifices and prioritize becoming homeowners than single men. A study done by the Urban Institute showed that women are more likely to make financial sacrifices and prioritize becoming homeowners. Using the NAR Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, The National Association of Realtors ® found that 68% of single women homebuyers make financial sacrifices to become a homeowner compared to 58% of single men buyers. Some of the sacrifices include cutting spending on non-essential goods, entertainment and clothes as well as taking on a second job and only paying the minimum on their bills. 
  • Women typically live longer and are twice as likely to report being widowed. LendingTree and Housing Matters found from an analysis of 2022 Census Bureau data that women are twice as likely to report being widowed. Taking into account that women usually live longer, it is possible that some women who are now single homeowners bought their homes with a spouse that they outlived. Both LendingTree and Housing Matters point to the fact that single women homeowners are typically older than the single male homeowners to further explain this.
  • Women tend to buy homes with kids under 18 and for multiple generations. Looking at who lives in the buyer’s home also helps to explain why single women own more homes than single men. The National Association of Realtors ® found that women are more likely to have kids under the age of 18 and multiple generations living in their home. These family obligations and the desire for stable housing may make purchasing a home more important for single women homebuyers. 

Despite there being more single women homeowners, a Yale study found that single women see significantly lower returns from buying and selling real estate than single men. They found that compared to single men, women spend about 2% more when they buy a house, and when it is time to sell it, women get a price that is 2% less. They break it down into dollar terms saying that single women lose $1,600 per year relative to single men for the same house, based on the same median home price and the median holding period. Using data from the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act, Jerry found that women could be paying up to $5,100 more for their mortgages over 30-year loan periods. 

However, the researchers at Yale point out that it matters when you buy and sell and how long you stay in the house. They noticed that women tend to buy and hold while men’s returns are hurt by transaction costs. 

Ready to buy a home? 

Buying a home can seem overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. TSAHC has programs to help make buying a home more affordable for all Texans. TSAHC has homeownership programs that serve both first-time and repeat home buyers. The Homes for Texas Heroes and Home Sweet Texas Loan Programs provide down payment assistance of up to 5% to low- and moderate-income home buyers. TSAHC also offers a Mortgage Credit Certificate Program for first time home buyers that provides you with a tax credit that can save you thousands of dollars over the life of your home loan.

Take our Eligibility Quiz to see if you qualify for one or both assistance options. You can also compare assistance options by using our Program Comparison Calculator. 

On the House blog posts are meant to provide general information on various housing-related issues, research and programs. We are not liable for any errors or inaccuracies in the information provided by blog sources. Furthermore, this blog is not legal advice and should not be used as a substitute for legal advice from a licensed professional attorney.

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