The gender gap is bad! It’s everywhere! But in the real estate market, it is working in women’s favor, because according to the Washington Post, they are lapping single men in one way: by buying houses and condos at more than twice the rate of single men.
Frankly, I feel relieved that this story was not packaged with some sort of #MeToo slant and am grateful for data that backs this up with facts and not speculative straw-grabbing. According to the raft of data presented by the Washington Post, women are buying houses more so than men not for one specific reason, but for a handful.
Single women view the purchase of a home as an investment. Single women are more concerned with the rising of rents across this great nation of ours. Single women—not just younger ones, but single women in their 30s, 40s, and 50s—“are tired of living in apartments and now feel confident enough to buy a new home.” Single women, it seems, have taken Virginia Woolf’s statement about a room of one’s own to heart, and are very much out here, doing it for themselves.
Homeowner Colleen Fleming spoke to the Washington Post and said that despite the obvious investment opportunity, she wanted to buy her own place because she “had gotten to the point where I wanted having a place that’s really mine, where I could make the changes I wanted.” Men, on the other hand, are less likely to own homes by themselves, but there isn’t as much research out on that phenomenon. Some speculated to the paper that the reason this was is because men are “less comfortable” staking themselves to a job market or a geographical location and would rather have the freedom to roam at will, renting until further notice.
We still have yet to crack the code on the gender pay gap, meaning that women are making roughly 80 percent of what men make, to the dollar. It stands to reason that perhaps part of this movement towards single woman home ownership is because of this pay gap. If you’re making less money than a man who does the same job as you, it might make some sense to make that money stretch. The independence afforded by home ownership is an easy means of exerting control in a world where so many other factors are out of your hands.