No need to weep for single women; they’re harnessing their new sense of independence and becoming America’s leading homeowners over single men. Last year, the American Dream of owning a house became a reality for 18 percent for single women while bachelors fell behind at 10 percent, reports US News & World Report.
Only a few decades ago, single female homeowners was scarce. A woman could not even be approved for a credit card back then, so imagine the discrimination ladies suffered in trying to purchase a home. Without the Fair Housing Act of 1968, a woman would still need the signature of her father or husband to apply for a mortgage.
Now, The Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers finds that single women are eight percentage points ahead of single men in the homeowner category, a surprising statistic if you consider the roadblocks obstructing a bachelorette’s home purchase. First, women earn 82 cents for every dollar a man makes. Second, lenders are warier of single earners than couples who merge to create a two-income household.
Despite these challenges, single ladies are taking the lead because, on average, women are more responsible with credit than men, according to Experian. Men have 4.3 percent more debt than women; they are also seven percent more likely to be late on mortgage payments than women.
Both bachlorettes featured on NPR and in US News claim that their choice to buy a home stemmed from the economic advantage of putting money towards a mortgage over monthly rent. “I feel people shouldn’t have to rent, like it should be illegal or something,” 26-year-old homeowner Kaleena Porter told NPR, “your money should be going toward some kind of investment.”
Julie Cook agrees; she’s a single woman who escaped the skyrocketing expenses of New York City and closed a deal on her first home in Detroit. “At this point, it was a better way to spend my money than putting it into rent,” she told US News. “I might as well get equity.”
Surprisingly, even though society places higher pressures on men to own a home, research has shown that women place a “higher priority than men on having a place to call their own and will do more to make it happen,” said NPR.
And these aren’t small homes or shares. About 66 percent of single women own single-family homes with three bedrooms and two baths.