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More single women are buying homes

According to a report from Maxwell, single women made up 22% of mortgage applications in 2023. Furthermore, the report showed that 35% of single women who applied were between the ages of 25 and 34, a majority of whom make less than $100k a year.

Yahoo Finance Reporters Alexandra Canal, Pras Subramanian, and Josh Schafer break down the report and discuss what this means for the broader housing market.

For more expert insight and the latest market action, click here to watch this full episode of Yahoo Finance Live.

Editor's note: This article was written by Nicholas Jacobino

Video Transcript

ALEXANDRA CANAL: Today, guys, we're starting with the story that's close to my heart and wallet, I should say, the rise of single women taking over the housing market. Half a decade ago, women couldn't even get a mortgage. And now it seems like girl power is in full force, at least according to this new analysis from mortgage platform Maxwell.

Now, in the report, the female home-buyer who applies for a solo mortgage climbed to 22% out of the entire market last year. And like I teased, I am currently in the process of maybe purchasing my own apartment here in New York City. It's something that I've been thinking about. I'm 30 now. I feel like I need to get that next step, like build some equity.

But this study was really interesting. There was a few things that stuck out to me. One, the ages of single women applicants, 35% are between 25 and 34 years old. So not just millennials, also Gen Z, they're looking to get into the market.

Also, if you compare the yearly comps, the income that women are making versus men, the majority are making less than 100K and exploring these possibilities. So 37% of women and 31% of men making between $50,000 to $99,000 in a year are looking to potentially purchase a home. Now, again, New York City--

JOSH SCHAFER: You live in New York, Pras.

ALEXANDRA CANAL: --little bit of a skewed market.

PRAS SUBRAMANIAN: I'm a little surprised about that.

JOSH SCHAFER: I'm looking at Pras's face. Not everyone that answered the survey lives in New York, right?

ALEXANDRA CANAL: And a lot of women that are looking for homes, 64% say they are willing to relocate to an area where they don't have to pay as much. So that's something that they're willing to do in order to get that equity.

JOSH SCHAFER: Yeah, I mean one thing that stuck out to me just when we think about having purchasing power was thinking about the labor market and the fact that more women have jobs now than they did maybe, say, go back 40, 50 years ago. I'm obviously going back a relatively long period there. But when you look at women's participation in the labor force, what sticks out to me about this chart mainly, guys, is basically from about 1990 through now, you can see that big increase that we've pretty much held. And it also came back over the pandemic notably. But holding that for such a long period of time when you think about the last 15 years or the last 10 years, if we're talking about someone that's 35 that wants to buy a house, having more women in the labor force makes sense to them, bring up stats like wanting to buy a house.

PRAS SUBRAMANIAN: Yeah, I mean, I'm surprised that you look at that stat again, also 43% of households are now headed by women. And I think that's-- I'm surprised it's actually that low when you consider like single child households or women are always-- they're dominating that household formation and that smaller kind of cohort, right? Also, you mentioned this Gen Z, Millennials, they were the largest share of single women mortgage applicants in 2023.

So these younger buyers who may not have like a ton of money, but they're looking to buy a home. Maybe somewhere else, but they're aggressive about it, right? And I feel like with that kind of below $100,000, it's hard to--


PRAS SUBRAMANIAN: --buy a home.

ALEXANDRA CANAL: And it's interesting because even women that are in long-term relationships, they're opting to buy a home on their own. Maybe they're the breadwinner or maybe they are thinking about things in a different way and they want to have that ownership. So I think it's a big moment.

PRAS SUBRAMANIAN: Or they're making more money than their partner, right?

ALEXANDRA CANAL: Yeah, exactly.