Gender gap: Women less confident housing market is healthy

House for sale sign

A new survey suggests there may be a gender gap in today’s real estate market. The ValueInsured Modern Homebuyer Survey finds women are less confident that the American housing market is healthy, with a confidence gap of 21 percentage points (68 percent of men vs. 47 percent of women).

It isn’t that women don’t want to own their own homes. In fact, they want them more: 77 percent of women who don’t own a home want one compared to 70 percent of men. But women are less confident that buying a home today is a secure and smart financial investment, with a confidence gap of 15 percentage points (76 percent of men vs. 61 percent of women).

Also, women non-homeowners are less confident that they can afford the down payment to buy a home, with a confidence gap of 13 percentage points (42 percent of men vs. 29 percent of women), the survey found.

Among homeowners, men are more confident than women that they can sell their home for the same amount or more than what they paid for it. In addition, more men (83 percent) than women (74 percent) would like to sell their current home and upgrade to a new one. And for those interested in upgrading, women (69 percent) are less confident that they can afford the down payment on that new home than men (92 percent).

The housing confidence gap between genders could be attributed to women’s stronger desire to avoid debt. When asked about their personal definition of the American Dream, women were more likely to cite being “debt free” while men were more likely to cite “owning my own home.”

Research has long shown that women make the purchasing decision in 91 percent of homes. And their money talks: women’s incomes are rising, and they are graduating college at higher rates than men. So when it comes to this year’s home buying season, women are important consumers: in fact, with more single female than male homebuyers, pundits have recently predicted the return of the single female homebuyer.

 

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