2016 Statistics on Women and Women’s Homeownership

The Current State of Women

  • Homeownership provides the financial security to safeguard women’s progress, and paves the way for future generations.
  • Women face a 27 percent gender wage gap and lack of advancement in hierarchy.
  • According to 2014 Census Bureau data, there are 18,057,000 female homeowners in the United States; 10 million live alone, 6.7 million live with relatives without a husband present and 1.3 million live in two-or-more person

Women are attaining college degrees at higher rates, which is allowing them access to higher wages

  • the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that among women ages 25 to 64 who are in the labor force, the proportion with a college degree more than tripled from 1970 to 2014, increasing from 11.2 percent to 40.0 percent
  • women’s earnings as a proportion of men’s earnings also have grown over time; in 1979, women working full time earned 62 percent of what men earned; in 2014, women’s earnings were 83 percent of men’s
  • in 2014, female full-time wage and salary workers ages 25 and older with only a high school diploma had median weekly earnings of $578; women with a bachelor’s degree or higher had a median weekly income of $1,049

Women are more independent

  • Married women leave their family homes to live with their husbands, but now women are delaying marriage. Only 30 percent of young women were likely to be married in 2014 compared to 62 percent in 1940
  • Census Bureau data proves that now, on average, women enter marriage at age 27, compared to 21.5 years in 1940

With college degrees and higher earnings, women have increased their home buying activity and buying power

  • More single women purchase homes than single men
  • women accounted for 17 percent of homebuyers in 2016, with a median income of $55,300; in 2015 they were 15 percent of homebuyers with a median income of $57,300, according to NAR, so women homebuyers did not allow their wages to affect their buying activity

The movement of women obtaining higher education and increasing their incomes will continue, thereby maintaining their upward home buying activity and buying power

  • in 1940, 3.8 percent of women held a college education; 2014 U.S. Census Bureau data reveals that 30.2 percent of women had a bachelor’s degree or higher
  • according to the DOL, 57 percent of women participate in the labor force
  • the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that women in the labor force have been steadily increasing, comprising 46 percent of the labor force in 1994 and projected to comprise 47.2 percent by 2024

Women Professionals

  • Between 1970 and 2010, women civil engineers increased by 977 percent; pharmacists by 434 percent; physicians and surgeons by 334 percent; and lawyers and judges by 681 percent
  • Between 2000 and 2015, the percentage of married couples where the woman earns at least $30,000 more than the husband has increased three percent
  • In 2015, there were 5.2 million stay-at-home moms compared to 199,000 stay-at-home dads

Home Worth Disparity

  • Homes owned by single women are worth less than homes owned by single men in the U.S.
  • Homes owned by single men are worth 10 percent more than homes owned by single women
  • Homes owned by single men appreciate 16 percent faster than homes owned by single women


Poverty Levels According to the U.S. Census Bureau

  • More than 1 in 4 families with children under the age of 18 are headed by a single parent and more than 3 out of 4 single parent families are headed by a female
    •  In the U.S.
      • 29 percent of families headed by women with no husband present are below the poverty level
      • 39.2 percent of these households have children below 18 years
      • 43.9 percent have children under five
    •  In California
      • 27.9 percent single female households living in poverty
      • 37.8 percent with children under 18
      • 40.6 with children under five

Help women turn their homeownership dreams into reality

  1. The Veteran’s Administration (VA) offers mortgage guarantees with no down payment requirement and other assistance for women who are currently serving, are retired, are a reservist, a national guard or a surviving military spouse in active duty.
  2. First-time homebuyers can get loans from Federal Housing Administration (FHA), a division of HUD. The FHA insures loans, making it possible to get lower down payments as well as reduced closing costs. FHA loan down payments can be as low as 3.5 percent of the home price and often closing costs and other fees can be included into the loan amount. These loans require at least two years of steady income with an employer, no recent bankruptcy or foreclosures and a minimum credit score of 620 or higher.
  3. Low income women have the option to speak with a reputable real estate agents or mortgage brokers in their community. They may be able to provide information about local programs that support women’s homeownership by providing special financing options.  Home Investment Partnerships (HOME) is a program that provides down payment assistance to low-income women and families.

Tips for Female homebuyers

  1. Make sure your home payments fit into your budget; an emergency should not send you into a vicious circle of debts.
  2. Compare renting and buying, you might be surprised to see similar payment ranges. It might make sense to buy.
  3. Consider your future; find a home that see yourself living through your old age.
  4. Always have enough savings in your account to get you through multiple home payments, to get you through tough situation like layoffs
  5. Research home warranties and understand if your home needs it or not; in most cases it is useful especially when the home needs major repairs
  6. If you have a particular type of home in mind, a condo, a townhome, a single-family home etc., stick to your plan and do not be swayed by other people’s opinions
  7. It is not wrong to buy a basic looking home, it is has a good value. Once you settle, you can take your time to decorate it as and when the budget allows

8. Take a homeownership class: learn about preventing foreclosures, home inspections etc. Most states have Housing Counseling Agencies that offer free courses, some even specially for first-time homebuyers