Why Single Women’s Homes Appreciate Less Than Single Men’s
Single women have it rough enough. They earn less than their male peers, endure a deluge of questions about when they’ll settle down and have kids, and let’s not even get started on the horrors of Tinder dating. And now, it turns out, the housing market is stacked against them as well.
Homes owned by single men are worth an average 10% more than those owned by single women, according to analysis by RealityTrac. And that’s not all: Men’s houses appreciate about 16% higher, too. The real estate data firm looked at nearly 1.14 million residences owned by single men and 1.01 million owned by single women, based on public record tax assessor data.
So let’s look at the price tags. The average current market value of a bachelor pad was $255,226, compared with $229,094 (a $26,132 difference) for a bachelorette pad. And the price gap only gets bigger over time.
The value of those man caves increased by about $170,765 over 15 years—providing an average 145% return on investment. But women without wedding rings racked up only $134,269—or a 127% bump—over the same time period.
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“The wage gap we see between men and women gives men more buying power to [purchase] more expensive homes,” says RealtyTrac spokesman Daren Blomquist. “They’re able to afford homes in better-quality neighborhoods that have a better chance of appreciating faster.”
That means single women were also more likely to live in ZIP codes with a higher percentage of criminal offenders than their male peers. Yikes!
But there were a few states where it paid (literally) to be an unattached, female homeowner. New York was rated No. 1, where women’s homes appreciated 30% more than property owned by men. Girl power!
Single ladies also did quite well in New Jersey, where their homes appreciated 29% more than their male peers’; North Dakota, at 22%; Massachusetts, at 11%; and Minnesota, at 34%.
“In areas where women are paid better, they’ll have a better chance of building wealth through homeownership,” Blomquist says.
And in three states (Massachusetts, Kentucky, and Kansas), unmarried women’s homes were worth more than those owned by unmarried men, according to the report.
The worst states for single, female homeowners? West Virginia topped the list, as homes of unattached men appreciated 72% more. Wisconsin was up next, at 41%; followed by Alabama, at 40%; Maine, 35%; and Minnesota, at 34%.