Despite the considerable strides they’ve made in today’s world, when it comes to earnings, women still trail men. Now, it seems, the ever-present wage gap issue is creeping over into the homeownership realm. And single ladies are feeling the sting.
Case in point: Women who are single build less home equity over time than single men, according to a new Redfin analysis of 79,517 homes in 18 of the largest metros by single females.
Women buyers earned a median $171,313 in home equity over five years compared with $186,403 of equity earned by men—a difference of $15,090, or 8.1 percent. Looking at it the same way as we do the workplace pay gap, single women earned 92 cents of home equity for every $1 of equity earned by single men.
The metro with the greatest percentage difference in equity was Seattle, where women earned 6.3 percent, or $20,983 less equity over the period. On the flip side, New Orleans laid claim to the best numbers; there, single women earned $8,784, or 8 percent more than single males over the five-year period.
Gloomy data notwithstanding, purchasing a residence actually helps promote gender equality, contends Redfin Chief Economist Nela Richardson. “Homeownership remains the single biggest engine for middle-class workers to create wealth over the long-term,” she noted. “In addition to setting labor standards that encourage pay equity, more can and should be done at the federal and local levels to support female homeownership through affordable housing policies like down payment assistance.”
For more pieces parsing the latest trends and topics like this one, be sure to check out our special Women in Housing issue, which releases September 1 and features a full slate of female trailblazers taking the mortgage industry by storm.