Single Female Renters Struggling With Homebuying

By Kelly Leighton | Oct. 21, 2021 | 2 min. read

While single female buyers have been on the rise over the past decade, the pandemic has impacted many of their homebuying dreams.

And now an increase of single female heads of households are fearful they will never be able to afford to buy a home, according to Freddie Mac. Fifty-eight percent of single female renters said they cannot afford a home currently and don’t believe they ever will. Eighty-two percent said they don’t have enough for a down payment and closing costs, 75% said a mortgage would be more than rent, 74% said they don’t make enough for a mortgage payment and 63% don’t know how to begin the process. Still, there are other barriers. More than half (55%) said they don’t know anyone who can help with the homebuying process and 21% said there aren’t forms available in their language.

Yet, nearly one-third of single females said they are worried about poor treatment based on “personal characteristics,” most likely race and ethnicity, followed by single parent status and economic status. The pandemic especially has amplified single female’s economic problems. Twenty-nine percent said they have had disruptions to their work schedules because of the pandemic, 13% have left the workforce since the pandemic and 10% said having to care for their children during the pandemic interrupted their work schedules. Yet, 59% said they have enough finances to live beyond paycheck to paycheck, but younger generations are struggling more than their aging counterparts. One-quarter of respondents Generation X and younger said they will not financially recover within a year or more, while 19% of boomers said the same.

Forty-six percent of single females live alone, while 54% reside with children or other adults and children. Twenty percent spend more than 50% of their income on rent, and Black and Hispanic renters are more likely to struggle with the cost.

Despite challenges, single female renters said they are confident about building credit and managing their personal finances, avoiding scams and foreclosures and being responsible when owning a home.

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