Housing Market Roundup: Apr. 5, 2022

MBA NewsLink Staff

Here’s a summary of recent housing market and economic reports that came across the MBA NewsLink desk:

Zillow: Women Could Afford 18% More if Salaries Matched Mens’

A new Zillow study shows how severe an impact the gender pay gap is for women1 in the housing market. An additional 18% of the U.S. housing market is affordable to men but is out of reach to women. This gap in access can be as wide as 22% of the housing market depending on the industry they work in.

The analysis combined income data from the U.S. Census Bureau with Zillow housing data to estimate how much of the market is affordable to women and men. The study examined a number of job sectors and regions and found that across the country, women can afford far fewer homes than men without being considered cost burdened.

“The gender pay gap limits women in the housing market, but that’s only the start of a compounding impact,” said Zillow economist Nicole Bachaud. “Owning a home represents the dominant form of wealth building for most Americans. So not only are women starting from behind, but they’re falling even further behind with each passing day as homes build equity.”

Still, the report noted homes owned by female-headed households, although still below the value of those owned by male-headed households and of median home values overall, have crept closer to parity over the past decade.

Bankrate.com: Two-Thirds Say Affordability Factors Holding Them Back From Homeownership

Bankrate.com, New York, said with home prices at record highs and inventory at record lows, nearly two-thirds of non-homeowners (64%) say an affordability factor is holding them back from owning a home.

This includes 43% who say their income levels are not high enough, 39% who think home prices are too high and 36% who can’t afford a down payment and/or closing costs (respondents could select more than one factor). Additionally, 58% of all U.S. adults would be willing to take action to find more affordable housing.

The survey said other than these affordability factors, 22% of non-homeowners don’t think their credit is good enough to buy a home, 22% are just not ready to own a home yet, 17% think mortgage rates are too high, 13% have too much debt, 13% cite lack of available homes/inventory, and 8% say some other reason. Separately, 14% simply never want to be homeowners.

“Non-homeowners cite insufficient income, high home prices, and not being able to afford a down payment or closing costs as the most common barriers to becoming a homeowner,” said Bankrate.com chief financial analyst Greg McBride. “High, and rising, home prices can contribute to the feelings of not having enough income or savings accumulated to buy a house.”