Priced Out: Gender Pay Gap Spills Over to Housing

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Posted on Feb 22 2017 – 9:40am by Suzanne De Vita

Single homebuyers have a tougher time than most affording a house—and a new report shows single women have it harder than single men.

A joint report by PropertyShark and RENTCafé reveals housing in 23 of the nation’s top 50 metropolitan areas is out of reach for single women, while housing in 14 areas is out of reach for single men. Austin, Texas; Boston, Mass.; Long Beach, Los Angeles, Oakland, Portland, San Diego, San Francisco, and San Jose, Calif.; Miami, Fla.; New Orleans, La.; New York, N.Y.; Philadelphia, Pa.; and Washington, D.C. are unaffordable to singles regardless of gender—but Chicago, Ill.; Denver, Colo.; Fort Worth and Houston, Texas; Memphis and Nashville, Tenn.; Milwaukee, Wis.; Sacramento, Calif.; and Seattle, Wash. are, in addition, unaffordable to single women. The starkest pay gap of the nine areas unaffordable to single women—but affordable to single men—is in Fort Worth, Houston and Seattle, spanning 70-73 cents on the dollar.


The areas where single women face the lowest housing affordability are New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Boston and Miami, according to the report. In New York, monthly housing costs take up 119 percent of the average single woman’s income, while in Los Angeles, monthly housing costs take up 104 percent—a full-on shut-out. Monthly housing costs for single men in these areas take up just shy of 100 percent.

There are areas where single women can afford to buy a home: Detroit, Mich.; Wichita, Kan.; Indianapolis, Ind.; and Tulsa and Oklahoma City, Okla., according to the report. The monthly housing cost in Detroit takes up just 4 percent of the average single woman’s income, while monthly housing costs in Wichita and Indianapolis take up 10 percent.