A new report from a Washington think tank suggests that women were far more willing to borrow money from the Federal Reserve to buy houses and apartments in the past decade than men were.
The findings are a stark contrast to a survey conducted in the 1980s that found that the average loan was about $200,000, the Hill reported.
The study, by the Urban Institute, found that women’s average loan amount was $100,000 more than their male counterparts in the same decade.
Women had far greater numbers of loans in recent years, compared to men.
Among the loan categories studied, women took out loans for everything from college tuition to car loans.
Among men, the largest loan was for a $1,000 home.
The median loan amount for women was $300,000 and for men $400,000.
The report found that men had a far higher percentage of loans for house and apartment purchase than women, at 64 percent versus 41 percent.
“For the first time in our history, women have been far more interested in buying a home than men have been in buying homes,” the report’s authors wrote.
“Women were more likely than men to say they were willing to put their money into a mortgage to buy a home.
In fact, women are now far more financially independent than men.”
The authors added that the gender gap in homeownership had narrowed significantly over the past 15 years, with the gap shrinking from about a 3 percentage point gap in 2000 to about a 2.5 percentage point difference in 2014.
The gap was largest in the South, the region where many women live and work.
“While women may still face significant barriers to homeownership, they are more likely today than they were then to own a home and are more willing than men are today to take on a mortgage for a down payment,” the authors said.
They also found that for every dollar women earn, they have a $4,200 saving for a mortgage.
The paper, titled “Household financial independence and home ownership: Trends, challenges, and opportunities,” will be published in the American Economic Review on Wednesday.
In the report, the authors compared mortgage rates with a number of indicators, including median home values and the median loan to value ratio.
The average loan to housing value ratio in 2016 was about 3.2.
For the past 10 years, the ratio has averaged about 2.9, the report found.
The authors noted that mortgage rates have risen significantly in recent decades, and they also noted that the mortgage market is now more volatile.
“The mortgage market has been volatile for a long time, but we believe that the market is finally starting to stabilize,” said one of the report authors, Jennifer Yoo, a research associate at the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center.
“That is a very good sign for women.
The question is, can the housing market stabilize in a way that supports the ability of the average family to purchase a home?”