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A Different Kind of Gender Gap: Homeownership Is More Common Among Single Women Than Single Men

In much of the United States, single women are outpacing single men when it comes to homeownership. This trend may be somewhat surprising, given the average woman in the U.S. only makes 80% of what the average man does. Nonetheless, the data clearly indicates that single women are more likely to own a home than single men are.

For example, in the New York metropolitan area, single women own slightly more than 820,000 homes. In the Los Angeles metropolitan area, that number is around 460,000. On the flip side, single men own about 435,000 homes in the New York area and about 260,000 homes in the Los Angeles area. In both cases, single women owned nearly twice as many homes as single men did.

To determine the number of single homeowners in each metro area, LendingTree, the nation’s leading online loan marketplace, analyzed data from the 2017 American Community Survey. We defined single homeowners as single men or women who live in owner-occupied homes. You can read our more detailed methodology below.

What we found was that in all of the 50 largest metropolitan areas, single women own more homes than single men do. On average, single women own more than 70,000 more homes in metro areas than single men do.

Key findings:

  • Single women own considerably more homes than single men do. On average, single women own around 22% of homes, while single men own less than 13% of homes.
  • Oklahoma City was the metropolitan area where single men own the largest share of owner-occupied homes, at 16%. Even though single men own a greater proportion of homes in Oklahoma City than they do elsewhere in the country, they still own fewer homes than single women, who own 24% of residential properties in the area.
  • New Orleans was the metropolitan area where single women own the largest share of owner-occupied homes. In this area, single women own nearly twice as many homes than single men do: 27% compared with 15%.

Metros with the largest share of single-women homeowners

New Orleans

Owner-occupied households: 299,556
Households owned and occupied by single women: 27.08%
Households owned and occupied by single men: 15.47%
Gender gap between single homeowners: 11.61 percentage points

Miami

Owner-occupied households: 1,252,418
Households owned and occupied by single women: 26.81%
Households owned and occupied by single men: 14.22%
Gender gap between single homeowners: 12.59 percentage points

Birmingham, Ala.

Owner-occupied households: 298,673
Households owned and occupied by single women: 25.44%
Households owned and occupied by single men: 13.75%
Gender gap between single homeowners: 11.70 percentage points

Metros with the largest share of single-men homeowners

Oklahoma City

Owner-occupied households: 324,907
Households owned and occupied by single men: 15.52%
Households owned and occupied by single women: 23.78%
Gender gap between single homeowners: 8.27 percentage points

New Orleans

Owner-occupied households: 299,556
Households owned and occupied by single men: 15.47%
Households owned and occupied by single women: 27.08%
Gender gap between single homeowners: 11.61 percentage points

Las Vegas

Owner-occupied households: 64,821
Households owned and occupied by single men: 15.30%
Households owned and occupied by single women: 21.03%
Gender gap between single homeowners: 5.72 percentage points

Metros with the widest gender gap between single homeowners

Miami

Owner-occupied households: 1,252,418
Households owned and occupied by single women: 26.81%
Households owned and occupied by single men: 14.22%
Gender gap between single homeowners: 12.59 percentage points

Richmond, Va.

Owner-occupied households: 319,197
Households owned and occupied by single women: 24.19%
Households owned and occupied by single men: 24.19%
Gender gap between single homeowners: 12.46 percentage points

Birmingham, Ala.

Owner-occupied households: 298,673
Households owned and occupied by single women: 25.44%
Households owned and occupied by single men: 13.75%
Gender gap between single homeowners: 11.70 percentage points

Methodology

LendingTree used the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2017 American Community Survey with 1-Year Estimates to conduct this research. The survey looked at several different aspects of households in the United States. For the purposes of this report, LendingTree only focused on owner-occupied housing units. As the name implies, these homes are occupied by the people who own them, and not by people like renters.

To determine the percentage of homeowners who were either single men or women in an area, we divided the number of homes occupied by either single male or female homeowners by the total number of owner-occupied homes in an area. It is important to note that these percentages do not add up to 100% because there are other types of homeowners in an area, like married couples.

To find the “Homeownership gap (number),” we simply subtracted the number of homes owned by women in an area by the number of homes owned by men in that same area. Similarly, we subtracted the percentage of homeowners who were women by the percentage of homeowners who were men to find the “Homeownership gap (percentage points).”

More data on U.S. households, as well as a breakdown of the ACS’s methodology can be found by using the United States Census Bureau’s American FactFinder.

 

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