Women and men have different confidence attitudes toward buying and upgrading homes

As our country discusses progress in equality, men and women continue to have different attitudes on some important issues. One of them is their housing confidence, according to the latest ValueInsured Modern Homebuyer Survey.

Conducted in March 2016, the survey found while the desire to own home cuts across gender line – 77% of female and 70% of male non-homeowners in America want to own a home – men and women show diverging patterns when it comes to housing confidence, which in turns could affect the decision and action to buy a home.

Fewer than half – or 47% – of all women surveyed said they are confident in American housing market, compared to 68% of all men surveyed who expressed confidence on the same measure. Women also appear to have less faith in home buying as an investment. 61% of women compared to 76% of men surveyed agreed that buying a home today is a secure and smart financial investment. Similarly, 58% of all women surveyed, compared to 72% of all men surveyed, agreed to the statement “buying a home in my local neighborhood is a good investment.” 

Women also express less confidence they can afford to buy a first home or to upgrade to a new home. Among non-homeowners, only 29% of women believe they can afford the down payment to buy a home, compared to 42% of male non-homeowners who believe the same. Among existing homeowners, 92% of men are confident they can afford the down payment to upgrade to buy a new home, versus 69% of female homeowners who share the same confidence.

 It is possible that women tend to have lower household income that affects their housing confidence level. We explored this and found that even when adjusted for income level, women still express less confidence to afford a home. Among non-homeowners who have HHI over $75k, 58% of women are confident they can afford the down payment to buy a home, compared to 74% of men. One possible explanation is women’s stronger desire to stay debt free. When asked to define their personal American Dream, men were more likely to cite “owning a home of my own” as their number-one definition, compared to women who are more likely to cite “being debt free”.