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The Gap in Housing is Growing Along Gender Lines

Men and women are separated by a housing gap, according to a study by PropertyShark [1]. Out of a list of the 50 largest American cities, there are nine cities that, on average, a single man can afford a starter home, while a single woman cannot. Affordability in this case is based on the average consumer spending at at most 30 percent of their income on housing.

"With single women's median income considerably lower than that of men in all the cities we looked at, and the trend of real estate prices out-pacing income gains in recent years, there are a host of cities that are now effectively out of the reach of potential female buyers and renters," says Adela Muresan, real estate writer for PropertyShark.

Out of these nine cities, Houston; Fort Worth, Texas and Seattle showed the biggest income discrepancy. Women on average in these cities make 70 to 73 cents on the dollar compared to men. With the average monthly mortgage payment being between 20 and 30 percent, unaffordability for women comes as no surprise.

Most cities in Texas remain affordable for both genders, but Austin remains the only Texas city to be unaffordable for both genders by a large margin. In California, unaffordability is the norm, as nearly every city, except for Sacramento, is unaffordable on both sides. Monthly payments on a one-bedroom home in Manhattan, New York; Boston; Miami; and most of these California cities exceed 30 percent of the average income from both genders. In San Francisco, Boston, and Miami, monthly payments can exceed 80 percent of a single woman’s income.

In total, there are 14 cities too expensive for either gender, and two cities, Manhattan, New York and Los Angeles, exceed the average single woman’s entire monthly income. In Manhattan, a single woman would need to pay 119 percent of their income to buy a home. Behind these two cities are San Francisco, Boston, and Miami. Meanwhile, 26 cities are affordable to both genders and mortgage values in Wichita and Indianapolis can be as low as 10 percent of a single woman’s income.

View the full study from PropertyShark here [2].