June 14, 2021
Purchasing a home on one income is not easy to achieve but is certainly not impossible. Whether you are lucky enough to be able to offer the coveted 20% as a down payment or are exploring loan products that allow you to put down much, much less (like an FHA loan), it is no small feat and will likely be one of the largest checks you’ll write in your lifetime. Given the history of homeownership and property rights in the United States, single women have made leaps and bounds in the way of financial independence and sustainability.
At the start of 2020, single women owned more homes than single men, and that statistic only grew as the year continued. In 2020, 19% of first-time homebuyers were single women while just 11% of first-time homebuyers were single men. For context, that comes out to be about 2.4 million more homes than their male peers. While this may come as a surprise to most, the single female homebuyer demographic has been leading in front of single males in first-time homebuying since at least 2006, according to the National Association of Realtors (or NAR).
The results of the 2020 homebuyer census are not a huge surprise for many, though, and there are a few potential factors that could be contributing to the surge in more female homebuyers. As of 2019, women were well on their way to making up the majority of the college educated work force, which is a huge turning point in gender parity. The percentage of college-educated women in the work force has increased by more than 11% since 2000.
Single female home buyers are not the only ones making headlines and closing the gap. Loan officers across the country have reported a noticeable uptick in women being listed as the primary borrower or primary source of income on applications if they are applying with a co-borrower. Some women who are purchasing with their partners are opting to not list their spouse or significant other on applications at all.
While being the second leading demographic of homebuyers this year is a solid indication that that significant progress is being made in bridging the financial and housing gender gap, trends relating to interest rate, purchase price, and listing price indicate there is remaining discrimination between men and women in the housing industry. According to Women in the Housing & Real Estate Ecosystem (NAWRB), homes that are owned by single men are valued at about 10% more and appreciate 16% faster on average than homes owned by single women. Women are also still listing their homes at lower prices compared to their male counterparts according to CNBC. The silver lining is that lenders like Newrez are recognizing these persistent systemic disparities and are actively working to close the gaps in this industry.
By informing and educating our homebuyers through the mortgage process, Newrez provides the support necessary to empower all our borrowers. Making the right financial decision can be stressful, but our loan officers, processors and underwriters are there to help guide first-time and experienced borrowers towards an outcome that puts them at a better financial advantage than when they started.