Economists' Outlook

Housing stats and analysis from NAR's research experts.

Why Do Women Pay More for Mortgages?

  • In a recent research paper in the Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, three researchers examined whether women on average pay more for mortgages than men.
  • The analysis found that the disparity in the rates charged to men and women cannot only be explained by the traditional measures, such as mortgage features, borrower characteristics, and market conditions.
  • The authors offer another explanation suggesting that women pay higher rates because they are more likely to choose lenders by recommendation while men tend to search for the lowest rate.
  • Research analysis confirms that search effort is rewarded in marketplace, and suggests that gender disparity in mortgage rates may be addressed by policies aimed at improving women’s financial literacy and search skills.
  • For more information on the research analysis:
Source: Cheng, P., Z. Lin and Y. Liu, “Do Women Pay More for Mortgages?” Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Vol. 43, No. 4, 2011.
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