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Homeownership rising for single women, despite pandemic ‘she-session’

by Stacy Carchman

The homeownership rate continued to grow for single women in 2020, but throughout the pandemic, women still suffered what First American Chief Economist Odeta Kushi referred to as a “she-session”.

What does this mean exactly? Kushi noted in a recent report that women have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic because they are overrepresented in service sector jobs. “Homeownership, on the other hand, is highly correlated with being older and more educated,” Kushi said in the report.

Despite woman taking a bigger financial hit, the homeownership rate among single women rebounded to just over 52% in 2020 from a low of 49% in 2016. That’s higher than the overall homeownership rate of growth over the same time period, Kushi said. That rate is expected to continue to rise in the medium- and long-term, due to the educational attainment of single women, rising income and their growing desire for homeownership, according to Kushi.

“The nature of this service sector-driven recession is unlikely to result in a one-to-one decline in homeownership demand for single women because those being impacted disproportionately by this ‘she-cession’ are much less likely to have been house hunting in the first place,” she said.

The report added that many women are now putting off marriage and prioritizing homeownership. It is not “first comes love, then comes marriage,” but for many woman, “first comes homeownership,” Kushi said.

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