Even in D-FW, Pandemic Puts Burden on Female Renters, Homeowners

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The coronavirus pandemic and the resulting recession has created an unsettling setback for women who had been narrowing the gender gap. Unemployment and underemployment studies have pointed this out.

But a recent Zillow analysis spells out exactly how women are becoming severely cost-burdened by housing because of the pandemic.

Dallas-Fort Worth tracks about evenly with national numbers.

Nearly half (45 percent) of female-led households spend more than 30 percent of their income on housing as compared with 36 percent of their male counterparts, according to Zillow’s analysis of the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey data.

In Dallas-Fort Worth, 45.1 percent of female-led renter households spend more than 30 percent of their income on housing as compared with 31 percent of male-led renter households.

As homeowners in D-FW, 16.9 percent of female-led households spend more than 30 percent of their income on housing as compared with 13.1 percent of males. Nationally, the number is 18.5 percent for female households and 14.9 percent for male.

The numbers were even dismal for women of color. According to the data, 51 percent of Latinx female-led renter households and 49 percent of Black female-led households are cost-burdened. More than a quarter (27 percent) of both demographics are severely cost-burdened.

Also, as schools turn to virtual learning and child-care centers close, working mothers were three times more likely than working fathers to cite child care as the main reason they were out of work.

What can alleviate this disparity?

“Direct rental assistance and extending unemployment assistance could help women cover housing payment obligations and keep women afloat and in their homes for the time being,” says Cheryl Young, Zillow senior economist.

“However, these are short-term fixes. Longer-term solutions, like creating more affordable housing stock, economic policies that assist working parents, and increased voucher availability, are vital to ensuring that housing burdens don’t fall disproportionately on women.”

Zillow Weekly Market Report Shows Price Climbs

Dallas-Fort Worth home prices year-over-year increased in August, according to Zillow’s Weekly Market Report.

The median list price of a D-FW home increased 5.8 percent to $359,700. The median price was $301,750, which was 8.8 percent higher than a year earlier. Newly pending sales fell 1.9 percent from a week ago but are 25.2 percent higher than last year.

Homes typically went under contract after 22 days, 15 days faster than a year ago. Total inventory is down 33.8 percent year over year and down 7.4 percent compared with last month.

Total inventory continued a long slide that began in late May as demand continues to outpace supply. Week over week, total for-sale inventory fell 1.2 percent and is now 35.7 percent lower than last year, the largest yearly decline since Zillow’s weekly data series began in 2019.

“The consequences of months of tightening inventory are being felt keenly by the nation’s housing market in the form of jaw-dropping price appreciation this fall,” Zillow senior economist Jeff Tucker says in the report.

Tommy Cummings

Tommy Cummings covers the North Texas housing market for CandysDirt.com. Tommy moved to Texas from Oklahoma in 1992 and has lived in Mansfield with his wife, Brigitte, and son, Beaumont, since 2002 (after a two-year adventure in California as a tech columnist/editor at the San Francisco Chronicle). Tommy started his media career at newspapers in Oklahoma before becoming an editor in many capacities at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram and The Dallas Morning News, where he wrapped up his newsroom career as a digital editor. His work has appeared in news outlets throughout the U.S.

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