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Why Some Women View Homeownership as Unattainable

house hands homesBuilding on prior research that the rise of sole-person households are on the up, Freddie Mac has conducted additional market research to find out how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the homeownership goals of single female heads-of-households (SFHOH). 

The survey found that the pandemic did indeed impact SFHOH’s as now 60% of respondents feel that purchasing a home is out of reach for them for the indefinite future. 

According to Freddie Mac, two-in-five SFHOH’s are renters—women of color were found to "more frequently struggle to provide for their household” than their white counterparts. 3-in-5 women were found to be “cost burdened” or pay more than 30% of their monthly income on housing; 1-in-5 were found to spend more than 50%. 

Events over the last two years have also affected the future prospects of SFHOH’s ability to buy a house. Again, women of color were disproportionally affected, as 75% of women who have dropped out of the workforce have yet to return to work and feel like they will not recover financially from the pandemic in the next year, if ever. 

Among renters, 3-in-10 do not ever believe they will be able to buy a house because of their lack of knowledge in the buying process along with the costs that come with buying a house such as down payments and closing fees.  

“The COVID-19 pandemic has had disparate economic impacts nationwide, particularly on women who are heads of their households, such as single moms and caretakers,” said Pam Perry, Single-Family Vice President of Equitable Housing. “In this survey, we discovered this population’s housing and financial challenges have been further complicated by pandemic-related workplace disruptions and current economic conditions. While the survey showed some feel confident in their knowledge of finances and building credit, many lack confidence in the possibility of homeownership.” 

Among the other datasets of the survey, it found that the basic demographics of a SFHOH are a previously-married woman with some college education, and has both a job and a house. She is also likely to be a baby boomer (41% of respondents) over Generation X (22%) or a millennial (22%). It also found that half of SFHOH’s live with someone else and one-in-six live with children. 

The survey was conducted online from April 14-23, 2021 and collected a total of 2,000 responses. 

A full copy of the research can be found here, at freddiemac.com. 

About Author: Kyle G. Horst

Kyle G. Horst is a reporter for DS News and MReport. A graduate of the University of Texas at Tyler, he has worked for a number of daily, weekly, and monthly publications in South Dakota and Texas. With more than 10 years of experience in community journalism, he has won a number of state, national, and international awards for his writing and photography including best newspaper design by the Associated Press Managing Editors Group and the international iPhone photographer of the year by the iPhone Photography Awards. He most recently worked as editor of Community Impact Newspaper covering a number of Dallas-Ft. Worth communities on a hyperlocal level. Contact Kyle G. at kyle.horst@thefivestar.com.
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