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Gender Pay Gap Leads to Wealth Gap in the Housing Market

by Martha C. White /
Finland, Senior woman sitting on bed, looking through windowGetty Images/Folio Images RM

A new study finds that the gender pay gap has far-reaching ramifications for women when they buy homes and build wealth.

According to an analysis conducted by RealtyTrac.com, homes owned by single men are worth 10 percent more than those owned by single women, and have appreciated 16 percent higher since purchase.

Read More: 'Motherhood Penalty' Can Affect Women Who Never Even Have a Child

RealtyTrac studied tax and deed data for more than 2.1 million homes, and found that there is roughly a $10,000 gap in home appreciation when single women and men are compared.

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Since the largest asset most Americans own is their home, these findings are troubling, said Daren Blomquist, senior vice president at RealtyTrac.

“This is not good news for women homeowners,” he said. “Because of the gap in wages, that’s setting them behind in terms of what they can afford to purchase in a home, and that’s having a domino effect on the pace at which they’re building wealth in that home.”

Read More: Gender Wage Gap Narrows for New Women College Grads, Fed Research Shows

Disadvantaging women even further, the appreciation gap widens the longer a woman has been in her home: Single female homeowners who have lived in their home 15 years or longer fall nearly $36,500 behind men in how much their homes appreciate, a shortfall of 21 percent.

“Those lower value properties are appreciating at a slower pace, which is putting women homeowners further and further behind,” Blomquist said.

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