Despite the fact that the coronavirus-driven recession disproportionately impacted women in 2020, single women purchased 9% more homes in the fourth quarter than a year ago, compared with a 4.5% uptick for single men.
Single women made up 15.7% of total home purchases nationwide in the fourth quarter of 2020, compared with 15.3% a year earlier. The share has remained stable between 14.8% and 16.1% over the past eight years.
Single women bought more homes at the end of 2020 than the year before and the share of home purchases by single women held steady throughout throughout the year, even as the pandemic-driven recession forced women out of the workforce at a greater rate than men, especially women of color. Even before the pandemic, women earned just 82 cents for every dollar earned by men. The recession hit women-dominated industries—including restaurants, retail and healthcare—hardest, and many women have chosen to leave paying jobs to take care of children.
While millions of women have lost their jobs during this recession, the impact has largely been on lower-income women. Meanwhile, most women who were able to afford homes before the pandemic are likely still able to afford homes, and low mortgage rates—especially at the end of 2020—have been incentivizing them to buy. We expect that trend will continue.