The 10 States Where the Housing Market Is Harder for Women

Women have to work harder than men to be able to buy a home, as their incomes are lower, on average, than their male colleagues, and closing the gender pay gap is a goal yet to be achieved.

That means that, at a time when saving to purchase a home is difficult for most potential buyers, women are having an extra hard time to save for a down payment and be able to afford a property.

But just how much harder?

Women Housing market
All across the U.S., women have to wait longer than men to be able to save for a down payment on a house. In this photo, a woman takes a picture of residential luxury towers along nicknamed Billionaires Row, a stretch of 57th Street that holds the majority of Manhattan’s supertall luxury towers on May 16, 2022 in New York City. Spencer Platt/Getty Images

New research conducted by ConsumerAffairs, a consumer news platform providing information for purchasing decisions, found that the goal of homeownership for women in the U.S. was particularly tough to reach in some areas of the country, while being much more affordable in others.

The research is based on U.S. Census data recorded in 2020 on median incomes and adjusted to 2022 inflation rates and state-by-state median property values.

These are the 10 states where women have to save for longer to be able to purchase a home, by years of saving needed:

  1. Rhode Island (29 years, 10 months and 10 days)
  2. Kentucky (24 years, 9 months and 24 days)
  3. Hawaii (24 years, 7 months and 26 days)
  4. Oklahoma (19 years, 9 months and 20 days)
  5. Tennessee (19 years, 5 months and 7 days)
  6. Indiana (17 years, 11 months and 25 days)
  7. Arizona (17 years and 10 months)
  8. Delaware (16 years, 9 months and 5 days)
  9. Maryland (16 years, 8 months and 16 days)
  10. Kansas (15 years, 8 months and 6 days)

These, on the other hand, are the states where women have to save for the shortest amount of times for a down payment compared to a man:

  1. Vermont (8 months and 19 days)
  2. Connecticut (1 year, 10 months and 6 days)
  3. California (1 year, 10 months and 18 days)
  4. Nevada (1 year, 11 months and 2 days)
  5. New York (1 year, 11 months and 16 days)
  6. Illinois (1 year, 11 months and 20 days)
  7. Montana (2 years and 17 days)
  8. Virginia (2 years and 21 days)
  9. North Carolina (2 years, 1 month and 9 days)
  10. Florida (2 years, 1 month and 11 days)

Rhode Island, which is the state where women have to wait the longest before being able to save enough money for a down payment on a house, is also the state with the highest gender disparity.

According to the ConsumerAffairs' research, women in Rhode Island have to save for nearly six years longer than their male colleagues to be able to afford a house. In Kentucky, women also have to wait five years longer than their male counterparts before becoming homeowners, while it might take over four years in Oklahoma and Indiana and over three years in Louisiana, Hawaii, Idaho, Tennessee, Alabama, Utah and Kansas.

Some states where women wait longer to be able to afford a house are not necessarily the ones with the highest disparity. For example, in Arizona, Delaware and Maryland, it "only" takes two more years longer for women to be able to buy a home.

Vermont has the smallest gender gap, with women having to wait under nine months longer to be able to afford a home than a man. In Connecticut and California, women had to save for less than two years longer than men.

The data speaks volumes about the gender gap, which has still to be closed, but it also shows how different the housing market has boomed in certain states.

The median income in Rhode Island and Vermont, for example—the states where women have the hardest and easiest time saving for a home—are similar ($54,123 and $51,590, respectively), but the median down payment for a house in Rhode Island is $58,621 higher than that in Vermont.

At a time when rising inflation, record-high mortgage rates, skyrocketing home prices and a limited amount of supply have contributed to make buying a house unaffordable for many, women risk bearing the brunt and being stripped of the dream of homeownership —or having to wait a little longer than they should before achieving it.

Update, 5/08/22 11:30 a.m. ET: This article has been updated to include a link to the original study informing this piece.