The pandemic may have paused plans for single women who were aspiring to become homeowners. Nearly 60% of single female renters recently surveyed said they feel homeownership is out of reach indefinitely, according to a consumer survey of 2,000 single women conducted by Freddie Mac. They said they don’t have enough for a down payment and are concerned they won't earn enough to cover a mortgage. Down payment assistance, however, could help them buy.
“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,” says Pam Perry, single-family vice president of equitable housing at Freddie Mac. In the survey, Freddie Mac “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.”
Over the past several decades, sole-person households have nearly doubled in the U.S., reaching 36.1 million in 2020. About 19.8 million of those households are led by single females too, according to Freddie Mac’s research. Single women have been a force in the housing market over recent years.
But the pandemic has brought on hardship. Many women had their work situations disrupted. Freddie Mac’s report notes that among single women who dropped out of the workforce, 75% have yet to return. The report also divulged that “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.” More than half of single women household renters say they are “cost-burdened,” spending more than 30% of their income on housing.
Aspiring buyers can find help. Down payment assistance programs can help bridge the gap from renting into homeownership. Freddie Mac also touts its home assistance programs for renters.View at FreddieMac.com.