Women In Housing-2015

TheMReport — News and strategies for the evolving mortgage marketplace.

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 22 of 67

Th e M Rep o RT | 21 Feature W hile women have made progress toward achieving economic equality, they still face barriers that limit their ability to build the wealth necessary to buy a house, start a small business, retire comfortably, or weather a financial emergency. These gender disparities are apparent in the mortgage market, as well. With less wealth and surplus income at their disposal than men, women might be expected to have a harder time qualifying for mortgages or end up qualify- ing for smaller or more expen- sive mortgages. Overall, women are less likely to have mortgages originated than men even when the affordability of the mortgage is taken into account by control- ling for the loan-to-income ratio. To paint a fuller picture of the female experience in the mort- gage market, Woodstock Institute analyzed Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) data on mortgage origination rates in the Chicago region. While the data is localized, many of the same patterns are seen nationwide. The applicants examined fell into the categories of women, men, women with co-applicants, and men with co-applicants. Woodstock Institute further ana- lyzed gender differences in origi- nation rates by applicant income level, loan type, and originating lender. In almost every case, lenders were less likely to origi- nate mortgages for women than for men. The disparities were generally greater for refinance applications than for purchase applications and for women with co-applicants compared to men with co-applicants. Digging through the Data T hese key stats regarding origination rates in the Chicago region paint the picture of the availability of loans for female borrowers. Mortgage applications from women and women with co- applicants are less likely to be originated than mortgage applications from men and men with co-applicants. Female applicants for purchase mortgages were 3 percent less likely to have loans originated than male applicants. This gap grew to 14.5 percent when controlling for the loan-to-income ratio. This means that the disparity in origination rates actually increased when com- paring women and men applying for similarly affordable loans. The gender gap was even more pronounced for joint purchase ap- plications, where female applicants were five percent less likely to have loans originated than male applicants. Controlling for the loan-to-income ratio, women with co-applicants were 28.3 percent less likely to have a purchase mortgage originated than men with co- applicants. The differences in the probability of loan origination for female applicants was similar for refinance mortgage applications. Mortgage applications from low- income women were more likely to be originated than applications from low-income men. One strik- ing exception to the overall pattern of gender disparity is that low- income women were slightly more likely to have mortgages originated than low-income men. Controlling for loan-to-income ratio, low- income women were 5.6 percent more likely to have purchase mort- gages originated than low-income men. Low-income women's advan- tage disappeared when applying with a co-applicant. Controlling for loan-to-income ratio, low-income women with co-applicants were 25.6 percentage points less likely to have purchase mortgages approved than low-income men with co- applicants. Differences in type of work and work continuity could explain part of the reason why low-income women have higher origination rates than low-income men. For example, men may do more seasonal work such as con- struction, while women are more likely to work year-round at lower- paying jobs. Low-income men's employment gaps could affect their credit scores and make them less appealing to a lender. Moderate-, middle-, and upper- income women were less likely than men from the same income brackets to have purchase and Woman of the House Is it easier for men to obtain mortgage loans than for women? Data gathered from Chicago mortgage applications seeks to answer this tough question. By Katie Buitrago and Spencer Cowan

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of TheMReport - Women In Housing-2015