Press release

Homeown-Her: How Technology is Empowering Women to Buy, Sell and Finance Homes

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A new joint report from real estate tech companies Better.com and Compass–who work together on Compass Bridge Loan Services–reveals that homeownership for women is on the rise. The report found that recent advances in technology during the home buying, selling and financing processes have helped eliminate bias and discrimination women have historically faced on the journey to homeownership. Key findings of the report include:

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Women are not only buying more homes, they’re boosting higher scores:

  • 58% of surveyed Compass agents reported that a majority of their clients (primary or sole buyer/seller) were women. 83% of agents said that they have seen this number increase over the past five years.
  • The mortgage arm of Better.com, which has grown 3.5x year over year and funds $700M in loans a month, reports 23% of its borrowers were single women1 over the last year with an average credit score being 770.
  • Industry-wide, the number of single women buying homes has grown from 15 to 18 percent, or one in five homebuyers. This suggests the rise of digital in real estate is attracting well-educated and tech-savvy female borrowers.

Single women are opting for mortgages before marriages:

  • 71% of surveyed Compass agents said that single women were entering the housing market earlier than their single male counterparts.
  • Over the last year, the mortgage arm of Better.com saw a 4.5x increase in single women between 30-40 who make between $10-20K a month2 and a 5x increase in single minority women independent borrowers. Out of the single female demographic, the average credit score was 767.
  • This suggests the rise of fintech and rules-based machine learning is helping to empower single women, who historically have been discriminated against and asked to provide co-signers for all loans, including ones for very small amounts. These findings correlate with a National Bureau of Economic Research research paper that found online fintech companies discriminate 40% less than loan officers who make decisions face-to-face.

Married women are increasingly outearning their spouses:

  • 80% of surveyed Compass agents reported a rise in women as the primary source of income in relationships when buying a home.
  • Over the past year, Better reported the majority of women who are married co-borrowers outearn their male married co-borrowers on the same loan, with the women earning an average monthly salary of $5,666 vs. $3,035 for men.
  • 1 in 3 married women who secured a loan from Better.com over the last year did not put their spouse on the application.

Top 10 cities where single women are getting mortgages, per Better.com data:

  • Atlanta
  • Los Angeles
  • Chicago
  • Seattle
  • Denver
  • San Francisco
  • Washington, DC
  • San Diego
  • Houston
  • Oakland

“Women are often dissuaded from participating in the home purchasing process. When applying for a mortgage a few months ago, I personally had mortgage brokers asking me presumptuous questions about my job – and I even had a few who didn’t believe me! These types of questions and others like it are as outdated as the phone book and make women feel like they are not welcome to participate in the home purchasing process. I am thrilled to be a part of the industry as it evolves. The rise of digital in real estate has empowered individuals—regardless of gender, marital status or race—to apply for a loan from the convenience of their mobile device,” said Sarah Pierce, Head of Sales at Better.

Danielle Lurie, who leads an all women team at Compass in New York, specializes in helping first-time buyers through the process. “We love getting to help single women get into the real estate game as early as possible and to give them the support and tools to set themselves up to win,” she said. “A large percentage of our clients are single women who are either looking to buy a home for themselves, or single women who’ve already gotten in the real estate game and are looking to sell in order to reinvest in a new larger property.”

In addition to offering data-driven options when it comes to both shopping for and financing a home, in 2019 Compass and Better.com launched Compass Bridge Loan Services, a partnership designed to leverage innovative technology and financial solutions to help homeowners capitalize on the equity tied up in their current home to buy their next one.

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1Under the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA) and the Fair Housing Act (FHA), lenders must give equitable treatment of all applicants without regard to race, sex (including gender), sexual orientation, color, national origin, religion, age and marital status. Therefore the numbers being disclosed are based on the borrowers who voluntarily chose to fill out these questions.

 

2 The mortgage arm of Better.com has grown 3.5x year-over-year, so the numbers should be contextualized to reflect Better.com’s overall growth. The rise in female borrowers are one of the key sub-groups Better.com saw surprisingly large increases in during 2019.

About Compass

Compass is a leading national real estate technology company, providing tools and services to help real estate agents grow their businesses and better serve their clients. As one of the largest groups of small business owners in the country, real estate agents utilize the end-to-end Compass platform to improve their productivity and help them manage their business more effectively. Compass currently powers over 15,000 real estate agents across 100+ U.S. cities, who were responsible for over $88 billion in real estate transactions in 2019. For more information on how Compass powers one of the largest groups of business owners in the country, please visit www.Compass.com.

About Better.com

Founded in 2016, Better.com democratized the home-financing ecosystem, replacing it with a digitized process that eliminates commissions, fees, unnecessary steps, and time-wasting branch appointments. In addition to providing mortgage rates in seconds, Better.com’s platform offers a digital marketplace featuring competitive quotes from an array of insurance providers for seamless purchase of a homeowner’s insurance policy and instant access to leading real estate agents across the country. To date, Better.com has done $7.9B in home loans and $1B in insurance. The company was recently listed on Forbes’ FinTech 50 2020.

Report Disclaimers:

  1. Better.com has grown 3.5x year-over-year, so the numbers should be contextualized to reflect Better.com’s overall growth. The following just happens to be the five core sub-groups Better.com saw surprisingly large increases in during 2019.
  2. Under the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA) and the Fair Housing Act (FHA), lenders must give equitable treatment of all applicants without regard to race, sex (including gender), sexual orientation, color, national origin, religion, age and marital status. Therefore the numbers being disclosed are based on the borrowers who voluntarily chose to fill out these questions.