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Female Ownership Rate Drops After 6 Years

In Fla.’s four biggest metros, a comparison of median women’s salaries to list prices finds that fewer than 3% can afford to buy a home. Nationally, it’s 8.9%.

ORLANDO, Fla. – Single men are more likely than single women to own a home, but that gap narrowed sharply in recent years. In 2021, the male-female ratio of homeowners was close to equal.

However, a Zillow analysis finds that women lost some momentum in 2022.

In 2016, 19.4% of young single women owned a home compared with 29.6% of young single men – a gap of 10.1 percentage points. The gap shrunk throughout the next five years as more and more women entered the workforce and women’s incomes began to rise. By 2021, that gap was only 1.8 percentage points. But after growing to 28.6% by 2021, the homeownership rate for single women dropped to 24.5% last year, wiping out almost half the gains made since 2016, when single women’s homeownership was at an all-time low of 19.4%.

At the same time, single men’s homeownership rate increased 2.7 percentage points in 2022 to 33.1%.

The pandemic may be part of the reason. By 2022, an outsized share of women left their jobs to take on caregiving responsibilities, both child care and eldercare. Women also continue to earn less than men on average, receiving approximately 82 cents to every dollar earned by men. As a result, young single women had fewer affordable home options than young single men.

“Single women had made great strides in narrowing the homeownership gap, but the pandemic reminded us that progress is not always linear,” says Skylar Olsen, chief economist at Zillow. “Despite women showing remarkable resilience in returning to the workforce, single women’s homeownership rate took a heavy hit in 2022. With rising and volatile mortgage rates furthering affordability challenges, the road to affordable homeownership remains an uphill battle.”

The study also calculated a percentage by comparing the number of homes women can afford based on the number men can afford. Of the homes affordable to men nationally, for example, women can afford 84.51 % of those homes.

In the study, Jacksonville saw some of the greatest “gender-based disparity” alongside Cincinnati, Kansas City, Oklahoma City, Minneapolis and New Orleans, while Miami came the closest to reflecting national numbers.

Of the homes men can afford (100%), women can afford:

  • Jacksonville: 63.35 %
  • Tampa: 90%
  • Miami: 84.26 %
  • Orlando: 75.68 %

The study also shows the challenges women face. In lowest-ranked Orlando, for example, women making a median salary can only afford 1 out of 100 homes (1.1%) listed for sale. Nationally, it’s 8.9%.

Percent of Fla. listings affordable for women

  • Jacksonville: 2.9 % – $26,243 median salary, $376,322 median home price
  • Tampa: 1.7 % – $25,000 salary, $404,936 home price
  • Miami: 1.6 % – $23,800 salary, $580,509 home price
  • Orlando: 1.1 % – $24,000 salary, $430,506 home price

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