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The Buying Gap

Lower wages, down payments, and student loan debt are just a few of the reasons women are having a hard time buying a home, according to GOBankingRates. The site recently analyzed why women renters are less able to purchase than their male counterparts.

GOBankingRates quoted a Credit Sesame survey, reporting “women are more likely to be shut out of buying a home. Just 28 percent of the women surveyed said they rent by choice—compared to 38 percent of men—and 55 percent of women said they rent because they can't afford to buy close to where they work.”

This so-called “buying gap,” GOBankingRates found, is a result of six factors. One is the wage discrepancy between men and women.

“Research from the American Association of University Women (AAUW) found that women are still paid just 80 percent of what their male colleagues make,” GOBankingRates reported. “Besides hindering women's abilities to afford a home, the wage gap also makes it harder to get approved for mortgages, because lenders look at income as an important marker of a borrower's reliability.”

The gap is narrowing, according to AAUW, but women aren’t projected to make the same as men until at least 2052. And until that time, women are likely to have a harder time saving for a down payment than males.

Citing the same survey, GOBankingRates reported, “The survey found that 55 percent of women in the Midwest listed saving for a down payment as the reason they can't buy, compared to just 38 percent of men. This could be because the pay gap in the Midwest tends to be higher than average: women in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Iowa, and Missouri, for example, earn just 75 to 79 percent of what men do, reports the AAUW.”

Another side effect of the wage gap? GOBankingRates reports that it's higher amounts of lingering student debt.

“Women earning less are less likely to afford larger payments that would pay off more of their principal debt each month,” the site reported.

Women also tend to have lower credit scores than men, averaging about 621 versus 630, and they also tend to be more conservative in their investments. These also make homebuying harder for the typical female, according to GOBankingRates.

About Author: Aly J. Yale

Aly J. Yale is a longtime writer and editor from Texas. Her resume boasts positions with The Dallas Morning News, NBC, PBS, and various other regional and national publications. She has also worked with both the Five Star Institute and REO Red Book, as well as various other mortgage industry clients on content strategy, blogging, marketing, and more.
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