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Study: same sex male couples spend the most on housing

In celebration of Gay Pride Month, Trulia has released a study revealing same sex couple neighborhood clusters and average price per square foot spent.


Gay pride month in America

In celebration of Gay Pride Month, real estate search site, calculated the share of households in each ZIP code that are same-sex male couples and same-sex female couples, based on the 2010 Census, combining that data with median price per foot of listed homes in each ZIP code on Trulia over the past year. “Even in the big, expensive cities, it’s possible to find a gay community without spending a fortune. And the picture looks different for gay men and women, who often cluster in very different neighborhoods even in the same metro,” said Trulia.

The top neighborhoods for same-sex couples include well known areas like the Castro and Provincetown, along with several lesser-known communities, from suburban Atlanta to suburbs of Detroit.

The company notes that “While the gayest neighborhoods in big cities are pricey (West Hollywood, Chelsea), there are also affordable neighborhoods – even in expensive cities — with significant gay populations.”

Same sex couples cluster

The study found that gay men and gay women tend to cluster in different parts of major cities, with Manthattan, Los Angeles, and San Francisco more gay male couple dominated, while gay women couples clustered in Brooklyn, Long Beach, and Oakland.

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Trulia notes that the Census reports roughly 646,000 same-sex households, 51 percent of which are female couples, 49 percent are male. Same-sex households represent just 0.6 percent of the nation’s 117 million households, meanwhile some neighborhoods have a concentration of same-sex couples more than 10 times the national average.

Provincetown, Rehoboth Beach, and the Castro are the only three neighborhoods that appear on both the men’s and women’s top lists. Trulia notes that “one of the biggest differences is that the top men’s neighborhoods are much gayer than the top women’s neighborhoods: just one women’s neighborhood breaks the 5% barrier, while five men’s neighborhoods have more than 10% same-sex male couples.”

“Remember,” the company continued, “there are roughly the same number of male and female couples in the U.S. So, that means that male couples are much more clustered in particular neighborhoods than female couples are: female couples are more likely to be the only ones on their block.”

Male couples spend dramatically more on housing

Trulia reports that the typical same-sex male couple lives in a ZIP code with a median price per square foot of $208 while typical same-sex female couples live in a ZIP code with a median $139 per square foot, while $127 is the average American price per square foot for all households.

Why the price difference? “A big reason is that same-sex couples are less likely to have kids: 10% of same-sex male couples and 24% of same-sex female couples have kids in the house, compared with 41% of all married and unmarried couples. Couples without kids need less space and therefore are better able to afford desirable, expensive urban neighborhoods.”

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“At the same time, gay men contribute to the gentrification of many urban neighborhoods: another academic paper showed that home prices rise faster in neighborhoods with higher concentrations of gay couples. But even the most expensive big cities have relatively affordable neighborhoods for gay couples,” the company reports.

1 Trulia study

Tara Steele is the News Director at The American Genius, covering entrepreneur, real estate, technology news and everything in between. If you'd like to reach Tara with a question, comment, press release or hot news tip, simply click the link below.

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