Residential real estate brokerage firm Redfin is reporting this week that just 31.1 percent of single mothers in the U.S. owned homes in 2017, on par with the 2016 rate and down from 35.5 percent in 2010.
At 63.9 percent, the overall homeownership rate for households across the country was more than double that of single mothers, though it was also down from nearly 70 percent in 2010. Over the same time period, the national median home price rose by more than 40 percent.
The metros with the highest rates of homeownership among single moms tend to be relatively affordable. McAllen, Texas, where the typical home sells for $165,000, has the highest homeownership rate among metro areas with at least 20,000 single mothers in 2017, with 46.6 percent of single moms owning homes.
That’s followed by Salt Lake City (41.7%), Grand Rapids (41.5%) and Minneapolis (40.3%). All but two (El Paso and San Antonio) of the top 10 metros for single-mom homeownership have higher-than-national overall homeownership rates as well.
The four metros with the lowest rates of single-mom homeownership are all in California: Fresno (20.5%), Los Angeles (20.7%), San Diego (22.4%) and Bakersfield (22.6%). The metros with the lowest rates of homeownership among single mothers all have overall homeownership rates below the national rate.
“Although more single moms have entered the workforce since 2015, thanks in part to a growing economy, single mothers haven’t yet been able to gain increased wealth through equity from homeownership. That’s because in many expensive metros, single moms aren’t able to access the benefits of homeownership due to a lack of affordable homes for sale,” said Redfin chief economist Daryl Fairweather.
Fairweather continued, “But in areas like Salt Lake City and Minneapolis, single moms are better able to afford a home without a dual income or financial support from a partner. Beyond being a primary source for building wealth, owning a home can provide some necessary stability for children because homeowners have predictable monthly mortgage payments and don’t have to worry about a landlord raising rent or selling their home.”