Single ladies don’t fare as well as single men — at least when it comes to real estate.
The homes of single men have appreciated in value more than the homes of single women, according to real-estate data firm RealtyTrac. Homes owned by single men are worth $63,921 more, on average, from the time of purchase to the present — a 33.4% return on the purchase price; meanwhile, single women’s homes have only appreciated an average of $53,809 since they bought them — a 30.7% return on the purchase price.
|Single men’s homes have appreciated more than single women’s|
|Years owned||Difference in home value between the genders||Difference in the gains in home value between the genders|
|10 or fewer||$18,185 (7%)||$6,226 (16%)|
|10-15||$38,872 (14%)||$19,781 (20%)|
|More than 15||$48,746 (17%)||$36,496 (21%)|
|TOTAL||$26,132 (10%)||$10,112 (16%)|
A large part of the reason for this discrepancy: Because women earn less than men, they tend to buy lower-value homes, which tend to appreciate at a slower rate, says Daren Blomquist, senior vice president at RealtyTrac.
Women working full-time earn only about 79% of what men working full-time earn, according to government data. That wage gap, over a 40-year-career means that women earn $430,480 less than men — giving them significantly less purchasing power than men.
Women also tend to pay more for their mortgage than men. On average, women pay 0.4% more in interest on their mortgages than do men, according to a study published in 2011 in the Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics.
While this might not sound like a lot, it adds up: For a 30-year mortgage, that could mean a man pays $26,000 less in interest over the life of the loan than a woman (assuming he gets a 5% mortgage rate while she gets a 5.4% rate). The authors of this study blame that difference on the fact that women, more so than men, are likely to choose lenders based on recommendation; men, they say, tend to search out the lowest rates.
Of course, there are plenty of single female homeowners who have seen huge gains in their home values, says Blomquist. And “in some markets homes owned by single women are actually outperforming homes owned by single men in terms of the return on investment, he says. “Those markets are the exception, but include D.C., New Jersey, Virginia, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and New York.”
Plus, single women are more likely than single men to live in a neighborhood with lower environmental risk levels from such things as bad air quality, nearby Superfund sites and former drug labs, the RealtyTrac analysis found.