Single women are defying the usual gender gap by purchasing more homes than single men, even though female workers earn just 80 percent of what their male counterparts make.
Unmarried American women own around 22 percent of homes, while unattached men own fewer than 13 percent in the 50 largest U.S. metropolitan areas, according to online loan broker LendingTree, which used Census Bureau data from 2017 to reach its conclusions.
The analysis found that single women own 70,000 more homes in metro areas than single men.
The difference is even greater in the New York and Los Angeles metropolitan areas, where single women own almost twice as many homes as single men.
This homeownership gap is also pronounced in the Washington, D.C., area, which doesn't surprise local realtor Megann Yaqub. She works with the real estate company Long & Foster, which calls itself the nation’s No. 1 independent brand by sales volume.
"In 2018, almost half of my clients were single women who were either buying or selling," says Yaqub. "They were mostly split between young professionals and older divorcees."
New Orleans is the metropolitan area with the largest share of single female homeowners. More than one quarter of households — 27 percent — are owned and occupied by unmarried women. Meanwhile, bachelors own just 14 percent of homes in the Big Easy.
Miami comes in second with 26.8 percent of homes owned by bachelorettes, compared to 14 percent owned by unmarried male homeowners. Birmingham, Alabama, has the third highest share of single women homeowners at 25 percent, compared to 13 percent for unwed male homeowners.
"There are a lot of young female professionals in the market," Yaqub says. "They're establishing their careers and getting their finances together, and part of that includes buying a home, which is also a part of their financial portfolio."