Buying, Campaigns

The History of Women’s Homeownership

As we celebrate National Women’s Equality Day, we take a look back on the history of women’s homeownership and how far women have come today as homeowners.

Shares 0

The summer of 2020 has been an interesting one. Social distancing guidelines have changed the way we live during the “vacation” months, coronavirus has transformed back to school policies, and we’re in the thick of what is one of the hottest real estate markets yet. But, in August, we also celebrate women. On August 26, 2020 we celebrate National Women’s Equality Day– a day used to commemorate the ratification of the 19th amendment in 1920 granting women the right to vote. Now, more than 100 years later from the amendment being passed, wanted to look at the history of women and homeownership.

Beginning in 1718, the path to homeownership began in Pennsylvania when an act was passed allowing women to manage any owned property while their husband was at war. Although this act only applied to married women, that’s for a reason. Single women at this time were referred to as “femme sole,” which means a woman without a husband, and single women actually had more rights than women who were married. Once this act was passed, a ripple effect began in multiple other states throughout the 1880s where the Married Women’s Property Act helped abolish these laws that prohibited women from having control over any jointly-owned property.

history of women's homeownership timeline
Sourced from the Guardian, Encyclopedia of Women’s History, UPenn Law, Britannica, Bureau of Labor Statistics,, Yale School of Management, and Bank of America.

Fast forward to 2020, now we see women gaining control over the real estate market. In February of 2020, a study found that 23% of women surveyed said they would prefer to buy a home while single. And, more recently, when polling potential homebuyers who visited in August, 56% of those shopping for a home were female compared to only 35% being male. This isn’t a surprise since in 2008 following the housing crisis, women homeownership rates averaged at 51% compared to an average of 45% for men. In 2019, those numbers continued to grow and single women accounted for the second largest homebuying group behind married couples.

Read: A Timeline of the History of Real Estate

Single Women Homebuyers are on the Hunt for a Home

Fifty-five percent of the women who were surveyed on’s site said they would be first-time homebuyers if they found, and purchased, a home this year. And, if you’re looking for a good enough reason to buy a home, you can find guidance, resources, and answers to any questions you may have on’s How To section– a place that offers free, step-by-step guides for anyone on the homebuying, selling, or renting journey.

*Sourced from the Guardian, Encyclopedia of Women’s History, UPenn Law, Britannica, Bureau of Labor Statistics,, Yale School of Management, and Bank of America.

Shares 0
Content Marketing Assistant at | See more posts by this author

As's content marketing assistant, Sydney gets to combine one of her favorite pastimes with her job– keeping up with pop culture. Outside of work, she enjoys stepping away from her phone and computer and spending time with her friends, whether it's just hanging out or traveling. Trying new foods, going snowboarding, and long road trips are some of her other favorite things to do, but what does she loves the most? When people read's blog articles, of course!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *