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Single Women Build Less Home Equity Over Time Than Single Men

SEATTLE — For every dollar of home equity single men earned over five years, single women earned just 92 cents, according to a new report by Redfin, a real estate brokerage.

Redfin looked at 199,387 homes sold in 18 of the largest metros in 2012, of which 39.9 percent were purchased by single women. On those home purchases, women earned a median $171,313 of home equity over five years compared to $186,403 of equity earned by men—a difference of $15,090 or 8.1 percent.

To calculate home equity, Redfin added the initial equity from the down payment and the principal paid on the mortgage to the appreciation of the home since purchase date. Appreciation was determined by subtracting the original purchase price of the home from the current Redfin Estimate.

(Photo courtesy: Redfin website)

New Orleans, LA was the only metro where women actually earned more home equity than men. Over the five-year period, single women there earned $8,784 or 8 percent more home equity than single men. Omaha, NE was the next best with women earning 0.5 percent less equity than men. Portland, OR (0.8% less); Denver, CO (2.0% less); and Oakland, CA (2.0% less) rounded out the top five best places for single female home equity.

Rank Metro

% Difference
in Equity
Earned by
Men vs.
Women

Median
Equity
Earned by
Women

Median
Equity
Earned by
Men

Median
Purchase Price
Difference
Between Men &
Women

Median %
Put Down
by
Women

#1 New Orleans, LA 8.0% $118,995 $110,211 $14,250 29.7%
#2 Omaha, NE (0.5%) $65,839 $66,194 $0 9.8%
#3 Portland, OR (0.8%) $215,675 $217,354 ($12,000) 20.0%
#4 Denver, CO (2.0%) $206,147 $210,352 ($12,500) 20.0%
#5 Oakland, CA (2.0%) $397,656 $405,913 ($2,000) 25.0%
#6 Atlanta, GA (3.2%) $114,630 $118,457 $2,000 20.0%
#7 Orange County, CA (4.0%) $350,804 $365,281 ($35,000) 30.0%
#8 Los Angeles, CA (4.6%) $285,457 $299,195 ($15,000) 20.0%
#9 Miami, FL (4.8%) $178,153 $187,204 ($15,000) 100%

Of all the metros Redfin looked at, the gender equity gap was largest in Seattle, WA, where women earned 6.3 percent or $20,983 less equity over the five-year period. Columbus, OH (6.2% less); Baltimore, MD (6.2% less); San Francisco (6.0% less); and San Diego (5.8% less) topped the list of metros where single women fare worse compared to single men.

Rank Metro

%
Difference
in Equity
Earned by
Men vs.
Women

Median
Equity
Earned by
Women

Median
Equity
Earned by
Men

Median
Purchase Price
Difference
Between Men &
Women

Median %
Put Down
by Women

#1 Seattle, WA (6.3%) $310,868 $331,851 ($35,350) 20.0%
#2 Columbus, OH (6.2%) $76,312 $81,370 $3,000 11.1%
#3 Baltimore, MD (6.2%) $77,729 $82,843 ($15,000) 5.7%
#4 San Francisco, CA (6.0%) $722,879 $768,864 ($52,250) 30.0%
#5 San Diego, CA (5.8%) $275,661 $292,572 ($21,000) 25.0%
#6 Washington, D.C. (5.5%) $128,499 $136,030 ($30,000) 10.0%
#7 Phoenix, AZ (5.2%) $129,663 $136,729 ($5,000) 20.0%
#8 Boston, MA (4.9%) $240,182 $252,619 ($50,900) 21.9%
#9 Chicago, IL (4.9%) $97,607 $102,632 ($9,000) 20.0%

Founded by software engineers, Redfin has the country’s #1 brokerage website and offers a host of online tools to consumers, including the Redfin Estimate, the automated home-value estimate with the industry’s lowest published error rate for listed homes. The company has closed more than $50 billion in home sales.

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