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Homeownership Gender Gap: Single Women Own More Homes Than Single Men Do

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In much of the U.S., single women are outpacing single men when it comes to homeownership. This may be somewhat surprising, given that women in the U.S. make an average of 81 cents for every dollar men earn, according to PayScale.

Nonetheless, U.S. Census Bureau data analyzed by LendingTree shows that single women are more likely than single men to own a home in each of the nation’s 50 largest metros.

Read on to see which metros are the most popular for both single women and single men homeowners, as well as where the homeownership gap between the genders is the largest.

Key findings

  • In total, single women own nearly 1.6 million more homes than single men do in America’s 50 largest metros. Single women own about 5.2 million homes, while single men own about 3.6 million homes.
  • There isn’t a single metro among the largest 50 where single men own more homes than single women. The average difference between the share of homes that single women own compared to single men is 3.7%.
  • Las Vegas has the smallest gap in homeownership rates among single women and men. The gap in Vegas is only 0.45% — much smaller than the 50-metro average. Even so, single women there still own 1,900 more homes than single men.
  • Boston has the largest gap in homeownership rates among single women and men. The gap there is 5.86%, which amounts to nearly 66,300 homes.
  • Tampa, Fla., has the highest share of homes owned by single women. In the city of Tampa, 16.83% — or nearly 132,500 — of owner-occupied households are owned by single women.
  • Buffalo, N.Y., is the metro with the largest share of homes owned by single men. Buffalo has 12.2% of its owner-occupied homes owned by single men, which is still less than the 15.93% owned by single women there.

Metros with the largest share of single-women homeowners

No. 1: Tampa, Fla.

  • Owner-occupied households: 787,384
  • Households owned and occupied by single women: 16.83%
  • Households owned and occupied by single men: 11.63%
  • Gender gap between single homeowners: 5.2%

No. 2: Cleveland

  • Owner-occupied households: 559,157
  • Households owned and occupied by single women: 16.2%
  • Households owned and occupied by single men: 11.66%
  • Gender gap between single homeowners: 4.54%

No. 3: New Orleans

  • Owner-occupied households: 300,688
  • Households owned and occupied by single women: 15.93%
  • Households owned and occupied by single men: 11.16%
  • Gender gap between single homeowners: 4.77%

Metros with the largest share of single-men homeowners

No. 1: Buffalo, N.Y.

  • Owner-occupied households: 314,126
  • Households owned and occupied by single men: 12.2%
  • Households owned and occupied by single women: 15.93%
  • Gender gap between single homeowners: 3.73%

No. 2: Las Vegas

  • Owner-occupied households: 421,252
  • Households owned and occupied by single men: 11.91%
  • Households owned and occupied by single women: 12.36%
  • Gender gap between single homeowners: 0.45%

No. 3: Cleveland

  • Owner-occupied households: 559,157
  • Households owned and occupied by single men: 11.66%
  • Households owned and occupied by single women: 16.2%
  • Gender gap between single homeowners: 4.54%

Metros with the widest gender gap in homeownership rates between single homeowners

No. 1: Boston

  • Owner-occupied households: 1,130,182
  • Households owned and occupied by single women: 13.54%
  • Households owned and occupied by single men: 7.68%
  • Gender gap between single homeowners: 5.86%

No. 2: Miami

  • Owner-occupied households: 1,262,225
  • Households owned and occupied by single women: 15.88%
  • Households owned and occupied by single men: 10.18%
  • Gender gap between single homeowners: 5.7%

No. 3: New York

  • Owner-occupied households: 3,588,835
  • Households owned and occupied by single women: 13.96%
  • Households owned and occupied by single men: 8.27%
  • Gender gap between single homeowners: 5.69%


Tips for women homeowners

It’s difficult to pin down what’s behind the gender gap in homeownership rates. There is some evidence to suggest that single women prioritize owning a home more than single men do, which could help explain why they’re more likely to buy houses. That being said, the studies and surveys conducted on this topic are far from conclusive and other factors could be at play.

Fortunately, regardless of why they’re more likely to own a home, there are many ways that single women can take advantage of being homeowners. Here are just a few examples:

  • Building home equity: If you’ve built up enough equity in your home, you might be able to qualify for a home equity loan or home equity line of credit, which you can use to pay for a variety of expenses, including home improvements and medical bills.
  • Taking advantage of tax breaks: There are many tax write-offs available to homeowners, from mortgage interest deductions to home office deductions. While it won’t be the case for everyone, taking advantage of these deductions could lower what you owe the government.
  • Refinancing: With rates near historic lows, now might be a good time for some homeowners to consider refinancing their mortgage loan. By refinancing to a lower rate, you can potentially save tens of thousands of dollars over the lifetime of your loan.

Methodology

LendingTree analyzed the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2019 American Community Survey with five-year estimates.

To determine the gender breakdown of homeowners in each metro, LendingTree focused on owner-occupied housing units whose owners were living by themselves, defining these homeowners as single women or single men.

To find the share of homeowners who were either single men or women, LendingTree divided the number of homes occupied by either men or women homeowners who lived by themselves by the total number of owner-occupied homes within a metro. These percentages don’t add to 100% because there are other types of homeowners, including married couples.

To find the gender gap between women and men homeowners who live alone, LendingTree subtracted the percentage of homes owned by women who live alone in a metro by the percentage of homes owned by men who live alone in that same metro.

LendingTree research analyst Jacob Channel contributed to this report.

 

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