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Consumer Research | October 13, 2021

Survey of Single Women Finds Low Confidence in Homeownership Prospects

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New consumer research from Freddie Mac found that the pandemic disrupted the homeownership goals of single female heads of households (SFHOHs). Although, some SFHOH renters believe they will buy upon their next move, nearly 60% of SFHOH renters surveyed indicate they feel homeownership is out of reach indefinitely.

Freddie Mac's survey confirms this demographic has experienced rising housing cost burdens and reduced confidence in wealth building over the past year, further illustrating how the pandemic's economic fallout has hit the country’s most economically vulnerable populations.

Key Findings

Events over the past two years have disrupted wealth building among SFHOH.

Many women had their work situation disrupted during the pandemic. Among those that dropped out of the workforce, a staggering 75% have not yet returned. Black and Hispanic women more frequently struggle to provide for their household and fear they will not recover financially in the next year — if ever. Generation X and younger respondents also struggle financially and feel stressed about the future.

Over half of SFHOH renters are "cost burdened," spending more than 30% of their income on housing, with Black and Hispanic women fairing worse.

The survey responses showed that SFHOH renters who are "cost burdened" are represented similarly across race, with majorities of Black (52%), White (55%) and Hispanic (55%) populations spending more than 30% on rent. However, a closer look found that Hispanic and Black SFHOH renters are more likely to be cost burdened, with 57% of Hispanic and Black respondents, not having enough to cover the basics or living payday to payday; compared to 47% of White SFHOH renters.

SFHOH renters experience numerous obstacles to owning a home and many don’t think homeownership is an option for them.

Nearly 60% of SFHOH renters do not believe they will ever be able to afford a home. Moreover, 82% say they don’t have enough money for a down payment or closing costs. Roughly 75% also believe a mortgage would be higher than their rent or they don’t earn enough for a mortgage payment.

Survey Methodology

This nationally representative online survey was fielded April 14-23, 2021, among 2,000 American single female heads of household, aged 18 and older.

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