Are Men Dumber About Real Estate Values Than Women?

home valuesIt doesn't take women long to figure out that men exaggerate about, um, almost everything, including real estate values. So it should come as no surprise that men are more bullish about the value of their castles than women are.

According to a study conducted by a national polling company, The Rasmussen Report found that nearly 60 percent of men surveyed believe their home is worth more than the amount they borrowed to buy it, even in this dipping market.

In other words, they think their homes are still going up in value. Eternal optimists, or out of touch testosterone producers?
Women, however, tend to be either more bearish or realistic: Only 47 percent of women homeowners polled by Rasmussen say their home is worth more than what they owe on it. The opinions vary according to your race and ethnic background, too. Just over half of white
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homeowners (53 percent) say their home is worth more than what they owe on their mortgage, while African-Americans are almost evenly divided on the question.

Rasmussen polled 720 homeowners between March 15 and 16, 2011, and the margin of sampling error is +/- 4 percentage points, yielding about a 95 percent level of accuracy.

Income level also makes a difference. Homeowners who earn more than $60,000 per year are more likely to boast that their home is worth more than the balance on their mortgage.

"I don't know that men are more bullish/foolish so much as their sense of pride doesn't want to let them admit that the "deal" they thought they were getting isn't so much of a "deal" anymore," says Ken Yee, Marketing Manager at HomeGain, an online Emeryville, Calif.-based real estate research firm that connects Realtors and buyers.

That men exaggerate home values is not surprising, but I wondered about overpaying for real estate in the first place. In our household, my husband is the one who says no more firmly than I. So I called Ken Stevens of Accelerated Marketing Partners, a residential real estate and marketing services company specializing in auctions of new properties across the U.S. Real estate auctions, that's like ground warfare, right? Tell me, I asked Ken, who's more aggressive bidding on the floor?

"The men are definitely more gullible than women," says Ken. "The ladies are much more cut and dry. They set their prices and don't want to go above them -- the woman are in fact holding their partner's arms down to keep them from bidding."

Men, he says, get caught up in the macho-ness of winning their "trophy" at the auction and will go that extra $1,000 to get their prize.

I've wondered why real estate auctions were growing in popularity.

Other interesting Rasmussen nuggets tell us that almost a third of Americans think they are underwater on their homes, while 16 percent are not sure. Less than a quarter, or 22 percent, believe the government should help homeowners make their mortgage payments, and women are more supportive of government assistance than men. The vast majority -- 64 percent -- think hurting homeowners should just go out and find a less expensive home. Some 59 percent think interest rates will go up over the next few years, and the vast majority of people polled are solid citizens who pay their mortgages on time. Only 9 percent surveyed say they have ever missed or been late on a mortgage payment.

The remaining three percent were not sure. They were probably men.

Candy is an award-winning, Dallas-based real estate reporter, blogger, and consultant. She's the gal who brought House Porn to the Bible Belt! Read more at and send story ideas and tips to

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