Single women accounted for 16.5% of home purchases in the D.C. area in 2020. That’s up 1.5% from 2019, while the share of single men buying homes in the region last year fell 2.8%, according to real estate firm Redfin.
Single men still accounted for slightly more than the total of single women homebuyers, at 17.2%.
The modest rise in home purchases by women in the D.C. region, and elsewhere in the country, comes even as women have been disproportionately impacted economically by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The pandemic has been unequal across income levels. So the people who are buying homes right now, whether they are men or women, tend to be more affluent,” said Daryl Fairweather, chief economist at Redfin. “The kinds of women who were able to afford a home before the pandemic are the ones who are more likely to have kept their jobs.”
The D.C. region follows a trend among cities with a larger share of women homebuyers.
“One of the trends we’re seeing among areas where women make up a larger share of buyers is where women have a lot of education — and D.C. falls into that category,” Fairweather said.
A recent WalletHub report ranked D.C. first when compared to states for the highest median income among female workers. Maryland ranked second for lowest percentage of women in poverty. Virginia ranked third for the highest percentage of women-owned businesses.
Boston had the highest share of single women homebuyers in 2020, accounting for 25.4% of all sales. San Jose, California — the most expensive housing market in the country — had the lowest share of single women homebuyers, at just 6.3%.
Silicon Valley’s high-paying tech jobs are dominated by men.
Single women tend to buy slightly less expensive homes than men. In the D.C. metro last year, the median price of a sale for women was $365,000, compared to $375,000 for single men.
Couples, married or otherwise, made up 49.4% of home purchases in 2020 nationwide. The remainder were what Redfin defines as institutions, or who fall into the “other” category.