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As if earning a higher salary weren't enough, men beat women in homeownership benefits, too

2 minute read

Women are not only suffering from lower wages than their male counterparts, they’re also building less home equity than men.

A Redfin study analyzed nearly 80,000 homes purchased by both single men and women in 2012 in 18 of the largest metros in the country. From 2012 to 2017, single men earned 8.1 percent more home equity than their lady peers.

Redfin says women earned 92 cents for every dollar of home equity men earned in the last five years. In some places, the gap is greater.

In Seattle, women earned $20,000 less than their male peers in the five-year study. Purchase prices were even drastically different: women are paying $35,000 more in down payments compared to their male buddies there, too. Seattle has the highest equity gap in the country.

But there are other places where the gap isn’t as large. New Orleans doesn’t have a women equity problem because there, ladies earned almost $9,000 more in equity than men over the five-year period. Unfortunately, it’s the only metro area in the country where women out-earn men in equity. However, there are other places where the gap is close: Omaha, NE (0.5 percent); Portland, OR (0.8 percent); Denver, CO and Oakland, CA (2 percent).

Home equity gap comes from earnings gap

Redfin says the major cause behind women earning less equity is due to women earning less money.

“Women’s median income has flattened since 1979,” the study says. “Coupled with a continuing gender pay gap in the workplace, women are typically unable to save and therefore spend as much as men on housing.”

On average, women are spending $25,000 less on homes than their male peers, and that’s because they don’t have as much extra cash to stash away for buying a home. Redfin says women are spending less on homes, too: $195,000 compared to $220,000 for men. In some cities, men are paying a lot more: over $50,000 in San Francisco and Boston; more than $35,000 in Seattle. More expensive homes in high-profile areas can appreciate faster, earning men more equity faster, too.

Because women earn less, they are putting less toward their down payments, too. The majority of both men and women are coming up with 20 percent of their down payments, but more women are less likely to do this.

The gender pay gap continues to hurt women in other areas, too. Because women are earning less, it means they are taking longer to pay off other things, like student debt. Redfin says women took two years longer than men to pay off student debt. More debt means less savings, lower credit ratings, higher mortgage rates and interest overall. Basically: the group that earns less eventually pays more.

Even for the most recent graduates — where income inequality is lessening — it still exists and is evident up to five years after graduation. Men and women who graduated on the same day in the same major and enter into workforce at the same time see pay disparities. There won’t be true equal pay for hundreds of years, and only if more workplaces are better at fixing the pay gap.

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About the Author

Dori Zinn

Dori Zinn

Dori Zinn is a full-time freelance journalist based in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. She’s president of Blossomers Media, Inc., a web development and online media consulting company. Along with her work on, she’s been a longtime freelancer for Money Talks News — a personal and consumer finance website — and South Florida Gay News — the largest weekly LGBT newspaper in the South. Zinn has written for a variety of other publications, including Huffington Post, The Week, Quartz, Fort Lauderdale Magazine, Indulge, and

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