Why Are Single Women Losing Out in the Housing Market?

January 10, 2020
Single Woman Moving
A woman with box at home By pololia - Adobe Stock

All the single ladies having trouble in the housing market, put your hands up. Buying or selling a house is tough enough already, but for single women, the odds are stacked against them. Whether it is due to the times they tend to buy or sell, how people view their offers, or how they tend to give more in negotiations, single women lose more money when selling and pay more when buying by two percent when compared to men. What appears to be a small percentage can actually amount to a loss of $1,370 a year, which when added up, can amount to tens of thousands of dollars. But what can women do to secure a fair housing value? Experts say holding onto a house for longer, researching the market, and buy or sell when the market is right. Still, with social factors such as more single women raising families, it isn’t so simple. 

Single women are losing out in the housing market whether they are buying or selling, according to a recent study from Kelly Shue and Paul Goldsmith-Pinkham of the Yale School of Management.

Analyzing data from over 50 million home sales between 1991 and 2017, the researchers found that single women, on average, pay 2% more for the same house as a single men and sell for 2% less.

“We find that women purchase properties when they are listed at higher relative prices, and also choose to list for lower relative prices,” write the researchers. “In addition, women negotiate worse discounts relative to the listing price.”

The study controlled for age, listing agent, income, type of home, ethnicity, education and many other factors, and still found that overall, women are losing $1,370 per year on their homes, compared to men, Shue told NPR.




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