The Gender Gap in Housing Returns
78 Pages Posted: 17 Apr 2020 Last revised: 10 Feb 2022
Date Written: February 09, 2022
Using detailed transactions data across the US, we find that single women earn 1.5 percentage points lower annualized returns on housing relative to single men. 45% of the gap is explained by transaction timing and location. The remaining gap arises from a 2% gender difference in execution prices at purchase and sale. Consistent with a negotiation channel, women list for less and experience worse negotiated discounts. The gender gap also shrinks in tight markets, where negotiation is replaced by quasi-auctions. Overall, gender differences in housing explain up to 30% of the gender gap in wealth accumulation for the median household.
Keywords: gender gap, housing, wealth accumulation, negotiation
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