In an era when buyers of all backgrounds have found buying or refinancing a home difficult, women have had a particularly tough time, a new study by a Chicago nonprofit found.
Chicago women who applied for a new home mortgage in 2010 were 24 percent less likely to obtain a loan than men, the study by the Woodstock Institute found. Lenders were 39 percent less likely to refinance a woman's existing mortgage, the study says.
The study comes with important caveats, which make it difficult to gauge the extent of the discrimination, or to determine whether some other factor might be to blame. The authors said they were hindered in their analysis by a lack of key data, such as an applicant's credit score or the appraised value of a property. Still, the data indicates a striking disparity between credit availability for men and women, and it suggests that discriminatory lending practices that have plagued the housing market for decades continue.