Buying a home is harder for half of the population. Spoiler: it’s not men

woman at home looking sad

The earnings gap means women take home 29% less pay than men (Picture: Josephine Artois)

You’re reading Solo, a week-long series by exploring the highs and lows of single life in 2024.

‘When I go on dating apps, I’m looking for an investor, not a husband,’ laughs Juliette*, 35.

The PR exec is single and lives in London. She says her dreams of owning a home in the city will never be a reality unless she couples up.

‘It’s not a position I ever thought I’d be in,’ she admits. ‘I was in a relationship for the latter half of my 20s, and I was saving too.

‘I thought if he matched what I had, that’s a house deposit.

‘But when we split up, it was back to the drawing board. I’ve got about £15,000 saved up, but I probably need to save at least another £15,000 before I can consider buying – even then, I’d only able to afford a one bed flat.’

And building up a nest egg isn’t easy. ‘London living is expensive,’ says Juliette. ‘Just transport alone is around £200 a month, and my rent is £800.

Housing is unaffordable for many single people (Picture: Getty Images)

‘I could make more sacrifices but people forget when you’re single that if you don’t make plans and arrange to do things with friends, you end up sitting at home alone.

‘Yes, I could move further out, but I don’t know anyone in the likes of Croydon or Essex and when you’re a single, that would make for quite a lonely existence.’

For now, Juliette says she feels trapped, and finds house sharing in her 30s embarrassing – it’s why she chose to be anonymous for this article. ‘It’s a little humiliating,’ she says.

‘Why am I still having arguments with housemates about heating bills and cleaning, as though I’m a student?

‘And telling guys on dates that I still live in a house share makes me cringe.

‘I look at my coupled-up friends, and they’re upsizing. I find it hard to congratulate them. They don’t appreciate how simply being in a relationship has made their situation so much easier.’

There are millions of single people in the UK in Juliette’s position – but as ever, women are being hit the hardest.

The Women’s Budget Group (WBG), a feminist think tank, told that the earnings gap where women take home 29% less than men means home ownership isn’t an option for many.

A home of their own feels like a pipe down for many single women (Picture: Getty Images)

Their recent findings make for bleak reading. According to WBG research, shared with, women need over 11 times their annual salaries to be able to buy a home in England, while men need just over eight times.

In England, for a one-bedroom property, 36% of women’s median earnings are absorbed by rent, compared to 26% of men’s. This goes up to 53% for women in London …read more

Source:: Metro


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