How Women Got Ahead Of Men In Homeownership

You may be surprised to find that there are actually far more single women who own homes than single men who own homes. Given that the wage gap is still a persistent problem — women earn 83 cents per dollar that men earn, on average — it doesn’t seem like this would be the case. But single women own over 2 million more homes than single men. The trend exists nationwide; there are only two states where single men own more homes than single women, North Dakota and South Dakota. So what’s the reason for this?

There are a few different reasons. It’s true that there are, in fact, more women than men in the US, but this alone doesn’t account for the vast difference. A significant factor is life expectancy. It’s five years higher for women than men, 81 years versus 76 years, for a variety of reasons that we won’t get into here. The result of this is that many homes owned by women are owned by widows who outlived their late husbands. Another reason is that women are more motivated to find success, as a result of historical — and continuing — discrimination. They’re more likely to seek to purchase than rent, even if they’re equally able to afford it. This is especially true among younger women. There are also more college educated women than men, which may lead them to make better financial decisions.

Photo by Paulo Felipe Assis on Unsplash