Buying a home is a better financial move for men than women, as the average market value of homes owned by single men is 10% higher than homes owned by single women, according to a new report from RealtyTrac.
What’s more, male-owned homes appreciate at a faster clip. Homes owned by single men have increased in value by nearly $64,000 since they were bought, more than the average of $53,809 homes owned by single women gained.
Here’s what’s happening: Women on average earn less than men, which reduces how much home they can afford — hence that 10% gap in home values.
That lower purchasing power has a lasting impact, explained Daren Bloomquist, senior vice president at RealtyTrac, and limits single women’s ability to build wealth since their homes tend to appreciate slower.
“Homeownership is not as an effective wealth-building tool for single women as it is for a single man. And that will have implications, especially down the road,” he said.
Many people rely on their home’s equity to buy a bigger home in the future or help fund retirement or their kid’s college education.
And the home appreciation gap widens over time, the report showed.
Related: Is it better to buy or rent in retirement?
A home owned by a single man for at least 15 years saw an average 145% return on its sale price while female-owned homes saw a 127% return on purchase price.
The study analyzed 2.1 million single-family homes across the country that are owned by unmarried adults.
The appreciation gap was the widest in West Virginia, where men had a 72% higher average home value than single women.
There were eight states where single female buyers had bigger home value gains, including New York at 30% more followed by New Jersey at 29%.