Housing

The State Where It Is Hardest for Women to Buy Homes

The U.S. housing boom of the last two years is close to unprecedented. Home prices have soared since the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The rate at which home prices have risen in the last year is clear based on data from the carefully followed S&P Case-Shiller index. In recent months, nationwide, home prices have risen by about 20% per month, year over year. In a few markets, which include Tampa and Phoenix, the number has hit 30%.

Several factors have fueled the run up in prices. One is that mortgage rates dropped under 3% for 30 year fixed rates loans. Those days are over. Recently mortgage rates rose close to 5%.

Americans also became more mobile. The number of people who could work from home rose by millions as businesses shuttered their offices due to the pandemic. People could move from where they had to live for work to where they wanted to live for lifestyle reasons. The movement of the population was most pronounced as people left expensive coastal cities which included New York and San Francisco to metros inland.

According to new research from Consumer Affairs, the ability to buy a home varies considerably by gender. The results were published by analysts in a paper entitled “How Long It Takes For Women To Afford a House Compared To Men.” “To determine how long it takes women to save enough money for a home, we first looked at the median pay for women in each state along with the median down payment in each state,” according to the methodology. Most of the information came from the U.S. Census and Realtor.com.

Which state requires the most time for women to save for a down payment based on income and home prices? Rhode Island tops the list at 29 years, 10 months, and 10 days. While the figure seems absurd, based on the methodology in most states the number is longer than 12 years.

One conclusion the study shows for certain is that the chance for home ownership among women in the U.S. is long enough that many will never be home owners.

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