Single Women’s Buying Power Is Shrinking

A woman moving into a new home carries a box through a room with various mo

© 10'000 Hours - DigitalVision / Getty Images

Single women have proven to be a strong force in the housing industry over the last few years, but rising home prices may be shutting more out.

Women can afford to buy alone in only 17 of the nation’s 51 largest cities, according to a new study by PropertyShark, a real estate data website.

Single men may fare better in the housing market. Single women would have to spend 49% of the median national income to cover monthly mortgage payments for a starter home. That compares to 32% of the income for single men, according to PropertyShark. The study compares the median income of single men and women to the median sales price of a starter home, defined as studios and homes or condos with one bedroom.

A map of the US showing the markets singles can buy a home.

But singles in general are having a more difficult time affording homeownership solo. Single buyers have been priced out of 22 of the largest urban centers, which is eight more than five years ago, according to PropertyShark.

A graphic list showing the top 10 least affordable cities for single female buyers.

But desire is still there: Single women, in particular, have shown a strong interest in homeownership. In 2021, about 19% of the homebuying market were single women, much higher than single men (9%), according to data from the National Association of REALTORS®. Single women have outnumbered men by about a 2-to-1 ratio, NAR says.

Single women are finding some markets offering more potential than others. The following are the most affordable cities for single female buyers, according to the PropertyShark study.

A graphic list showing the top 10 most affordable cities for single female buyers.