Equal pay for equal work advocates haven’t made much progress throughout our nation’s history.  Even today, women earn on average $.80 compared to the $1.00 earned by men. In the starkest pay gap cities, Ft. Worth, Seattle, and Dallas, women earn  $.70- $.73 compared to the $1.00 earned by men.  

How this pay discrepancy affects, based upon gender gap earnings, the world of real estate affordability is startling for both potential home buyers and renters.  In fact, only two cities in the country, Tulsa and Wichita have not locked out women from renting a one bedroom house or apartment on their own!

Let’s take a look at a recent Joint Report on Housing Affordability produced by Property Shark and RENTCafe.  This joint report compiled data on the housing affordability of 50 metro areas in the country.  The report indicates that across the board, singles have a harder time affording housing than couples and that single women have an even harder time affording a home  than single men.  (Know that in this report, “home” is defined as a “starter unit”…a studio or a one bedroom condominium or house.)

Housing in 14 of the 50 metro area cities studied are out of reach for both single men and single women who would like to buy homes on their own.  Those cities include Austin, Boston, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Oakland, Portland, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose, Miami, New Orleans, New York City, Philadelphia and Washington DC.  Additional cities that are unaffordable to single women who would like to buy homes on their own include Chicago, Denver, Ft. Worth, Houston, Memphis, Nashville, Milwaukee, Sacramento, and Seattle.  The very worst cities for single women who would like to buy are New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Boston and Miami as home ownership in those cities would consume 119% of a single woman’s income!

In this bleak picture of the urban housing market, single women and men may be able to afford to buy a home in 26 cities that are not listed above…cities such as Phoenix, Albuquerque, Baltimore, Detroit, Atlanta, Omaha, Raleigh, Virginia Beach, Indianapolis and others.

Perhaps the real estate industry will become equal pay for equal work advocates based upon these eye opening but not surprising findings.  In the meantime, however, expect single men and especially single women to continue creating new partnerships and new ownership definitions in order to afford buying and renting homes in the country’s major metro areas.

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