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THE GENDER GAP IN HOME VALUES

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Another thing for women to get riled up about: According to a new report from RealtyTrac, the gender gap goes beyond the workplace, affecting how much their home is worth. "Buying a home is a better financial move for men than women, as the average market value of homes owned by single men is 10% higher than homes owned by single women," said CNN.

The report showed that "single men have gained $10,000 (16 percent) more in home value" since they purchased," said RealtyTrac. Even worse for women: the housing gender gap widens with more years of homeownership." After 15 years, homes owned by men appreciating an average of 145 percent to female-owned homes' 127 percent.

Great.

The analysis covered "more than 2.1 million single-family homes nationwide owned by either single men (1,139,493) or single women (1,011,572) based on public record tax assessor data collected by RealtyTrac," said CNN. "The average estimated current market value of homes owned by single men was $255,226 - 10 percent higher than the average current market value of homes owned by single women: $229,094."

RealtyTrac's assessment takes into account Bureau of Labor Statistics that show that, "Women earned 19 percent less on average than men in 2015…giving them less purchasing power when it comes to buying a home," said Daren Blomquist, senior vice president at RealtyTrac. He added that it's "not surprising to see the 10 percent gender gap in average home values between single men and single women homeowners; however, the slower home price appreciation for homes owned by single women demonstrates that less purchasing power is also having on a domino effect on their ability to build wealth through homeownership as quickly as single men."


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A particularly sobering factor is the idea that men are able to parlay their higher incomes into homes in "better-quality neighborhoods that have a better chance of appreciating faster." The RealtyTrac report showed that single women more likely to live in ZIP codes with a higher percentage of criminal offenders.

Awesome.

This brings up so many questions. We have talked and written extensively about buying a home while single, especially as it relates to women. But is buying a house without a spouse really a smart move for single women if the value isn't there? And if the neighborhood isn't as safe as it could be?

What about other mitigating factors? The difference in appreciation can't just be about buying power, can it?

Maybe not.

Buyer habit studies have shown that, "Single women look for a home they love; single men prioritize a good value," said The American Genius. "While 46 percent of women buying a home on their own said they rely on their emotions to evaluate a home, only 24 percent of single men evaluate a home based on emotions."


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A study by Country Wide Home Loans took a look at how men and women approach the homebuying process, finding that, "Men and women are on opposite ends of the spectrum when it comes to how much time they put into finding a new home," said Military.com. "The nationwide survey of 219 adults, who own their homes, found that 43 percent of women surveyed spend less time shopping for their new home. Conversely, 23 percent of men spend too much time searching for homes."

NewHomeSource took a look at gender roles in homebuying in terms of how they impact purchases in the new-home market. What they found: "Calling it a ‘war' between the sexes might be a bit of an overstatement. In fact, gender lines are blurring. But when it comes to selecting and finishing a new home, men and women often look for different things."

That's not surprising. Neither is the fact that women are looking for a larger laundry room and men a spacious garage and space for a giant TV. But, "men tend to give more weight to things like cost or how close the home is to other places they frequent, like work, their favorite bar or the golf course, John Egnatis, co-founder and CEO of Dallas-based Grenadier Homes, told them. There's that location thing again.

The finding that "Men tend to view their homes in terms of cost while women tend to view their homes in terms of value," they said, may be the most telling - and disturbing, if true - factor of all. Single women continue to outbuy single men. According to the National Association of Real Estate's (NAR) latest "Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends" study, single women "made up 15% of homebuyers in 2015; single men accounted for just 9% of purchases.

But are they good purchases? Are women making smart buying decisions? Do women need to start thinking like a man when they're buying a home? Or shift their priorities in favor of factors that are more likely to grow in value?

The gender gap in the workplace is not likely to become a nonissue overnight. It's up to us to prove that building wealth through homeownership does not require being a male.



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