BAM Key Details:
- According to a new analysis by LendingTree, single women are more likely to own a home than single men in 48 of 50 states.
- Data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reveals that while women earn, on average, 83.1 cents for every dollar men earn, single women own roughly 2.46 million more homes than single men.
- Factors that defy the income gender gap include a greater desire for homeownership and more readiness to make sacrifices to afford a home purchase
According to a new analysis by LendingTree, single women are more likely to own a home than single men in 48 of 50 states, setting a wage-gap defying trend in homeownership.
Using data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the LendingTree report reveals that while women earn, on average, 83.1 cents for every $1 men earn, single women own roughly 2.64 million ( 2.84%) more homes than single men—10.76 million versus 8.12 million.
Single women own an average of 12.9% of owner-occupied homes nationwide, compared to 10.06% among single men. And in Florida, the gender gap for homeownership is at its widest at 4.55%.
States with the highest rates of homeownership for single women
Louisiana has the highest percentage of homes owned and occupied by single women at 15.16%, which is more than 2% higher than the national average. For comparison, Louisiana households owned and occupied by single men is 10.94%.
Top 3 states with the highest homeownership rates for single women:
- Louisiana: 15.16% (compared to 10.94% for single men, for a gap of 4.22%)
- Alabama: 14.98% (compared to 10.85% for single men, for a gap of 4.13%)
- South Carolina: 14.84% (compared to 10.65% for single men, for a gap of 4.19%)
States with the highest rates of homeownership for single men
Of the 50 states, only in North Dakota and South Dakota do single men own a higher percentage of homes than single women. Single men own 12.70% of owner-occupied homes in North Dakota (the highest percentage of any state), compared to 11.08% for single women.
In South Dakota, single men own 11.97% of owner-occupied homes, while single women own 11.29%.
Top 3 states with the highest rates of homeownership for single men:
- North Dakota: 12.70% (compared to 11.08% for single women, with a gap of 1.62%)
- Wyoming: 12.06% (compared to 12.45% for single women, with a gap of 0.39%)
- South Dakota: 11.97% (compared to 11.29% for single women, with a gap of 0.68%)
States with the widest gender gaps for single homeowners
At 4.55%, Florida has the widest gender gap in homeownership rates—nearly 2% higher than the national average of 2.84%.
Top 3 states with the widest gender gap for single homeowners:
- Florida: 4.55% (14.80% owned by single women vs. 10.25% owned by single men)
- Maryland: 4.53% (13.39% owned by single women vs. 8.86% owned by single men)
- Delaware: 4.50% (14.44% owned by single women vs. 9.94% owned by single men)
Wyoming almost lives up to its name as the “Equality State,” with the smallest gender gap among single homeowners at 0.39%.
Factors that defy the income gender gap
While the data consistently shows women generally earn less than men, homeownership is one area that flips the gender gap script.
Jacob Channel, the author of the LendingTree report, offers a few possible explanations. For one, he found evidence suggesting single women tend to prioritize homeownership more than single men—even to the point of making sacrifices to become homeowners.
This could help explain why single women own a greater proportion of homes than single men, even if they’re often less financially well off.
Also, women don’t always earn less than men. According to the Pew Research Center, women under 30 earn as much or more than men under 30 in 22 U.S. metros—including New York, Washington, D.C., and Los Angeles.
In another 107 metros, women under 30 earn 90% to 99% of what men under 30 earn.
Combined with a stronger desire for homeownership, these comparable (or even higher) earnings for women could contribute to those higher homeownership rates, regardless of inflation and its impact on millennial homeownership plans.
That said, these aren’t the only factors giving single women (of any generation) an edge.
Considering that women are twice as likely to report being widowed last year than men, according to the latest U.S. Census Bureau, it’s possible—if not likely—that many women who now report being single homeowners bought that home with the spouse they outlived. This helps to explain why single-women homeowners are typically older than their single-men counterparts, even though the pay gap is wider for older Americans.
Top takeaways for real estate agents
Depending on how long you’ve worked as a real estate agent and on the specific market you serve, you may already have noticed a higher percentage of single women contacting you to buy a home compared to single men.
But ultimately, the same rules apply. You, as their agent, focus on being as helpful as possible and on having the conversations that lead to the best outcome for each one.
Depending on their financial situation, that conversation could take a variety of different directions. The end goal is still the same: Be the agent that helps them make the smartest decision for the short and long term.