Single women continue to outpace single men when it comes to home ownership, but a recent study indicates women are benefiting less from the investment.
Researchers at Yale University discovered single women in the U.S. spend about 2 percent more than single men when purchasing a home. And when it comes to selling, they get about 2 percent less than single men, per Yale Insights. In annual returns, that’s 1.5 percent less.
Based on median home price and median time between purchase and sale, single women end up losing $1,600 per year on the same house compared to single men.
“It was surprising to both me and Paul just how large this gender gap is,” said study coauthor Kelly Shue, finance professor within the Yale School of Management, per Yale Insights.
Shue and Paul Goldsmith-Pinkham, assistant professor of finance at YSOM, noticed the gender gap in reviewing 50 million U.S. housing transactions between 1991 and 2017.
“Housing represents the largest category of household saving. It accounts for a greater fraction of total retirement savings than stock investment. Therefore, to lose any percentage on housing really impacts the gender gap in wealth accumulation,” Shue said, per Yale Insights.
Researchers note the size of the gap depends on the length of time between purchase and sale, so women should consider buying and holding onto a house to minimize loss.
Additionally, when the home is purchased and when it’s sold affect the outcome for women. Shue and Goldsmith-Pinkham discovered single men have had better market timing than single women. That could be due to timing constraints single women face, since they’re more likely to have children or other dependents.
Negotiation matters, too. Researchers found women buyers get smaller discounts on homes when buying, even when list prices are relatively high, and women sellers agree to larger discounts when selling, even when they’ve chosen lower list prices than male sellers.
The largest discounts tend to occur when a woman is selling and a man is buying, Shue told NPR. Plus, women who make lower offers are treated differently than men making lower offers. Shue pointed out research shows becoming more aggressive when negotiating can backfire for women, because the other party might view this negatively, per Yale Insights.
Notably, the gender gap practically disappears amid tight housing markets, researchers discovered.
A new report says single women now represent 1 in 5 homebuyers in the U.S., per the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
They’re far outpacing single men when it comes to home ownership: Among the 50 largest metro areas, single women own 5.1 million homes, while single men own 3.5 million homes, LendingTree recently discovered.
Keosha Burns, vice president of public relations at Chase Home Lending, told NBC News “across the country, we are seeing women take the housing market by storm.”
Atlanta is the top metro area for single women home buyers, followed by Los Angeles, Chicago, Seattle, Denver, San Francisco, Washington, D.C., San Diego, Houston and Oakland.