Many single women never think they’ll own a home

McLean, Virginia-based Freddie Mac has released new consumer research that shows the uphill battle many single female heads of households face toward homeownership, and confidence of ever being a homeowner is low for many.

The research says nearly 60% of single female heads of household renters feel homeownership is out of reach indefinitely. Freddie Mac said its survey confirms this demographic has seen a rise in housing costs and reduced confidence in building wealth over the past year.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has had disparate economic impacts nationwide, particularly women who are heads of their households, such as single moms and caretakers,” said Pam Perry, Freddie Mac’s single-family vice president of equitable housing.

It is not a small demographic. As of 2020, 19.8 million sole-person heads of households were single women.

The pandemic meant many mothers left the workforce during the pandemic for child care, and Freddie Mac reports 75% of women who dropped out of the workforce have not returned.

Over half of this group is considered “cost-burdened,” spending more than 30% of their income on housing. Hispanic and Black single female heads of households are more likely to be cost-burdened.

Reasons for not expecting to be a homeowner include not enough money for a down payment or closing costs, and 75% also believe a mortgage payment would be higher than their rent or they don’t earn enough for a mortgage payment.

Freddie Mac surveyed 2,000 American single female heads of households for its report, which is posted online.

Jeff Clabaugh

Jeff Clabaugh has spent 20 years covering the Washington region's economy and financial markets for WTOP as part of a partnership with the Washington Business Journal, and officially joined the WTOP newsroom staff in January 2016.

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