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HouseThe Democrat and Chronicle published a story titled, “Single women buying homes with more regularity.”

The piece made it seem women are suddenly realizing they can handle home ownership:

…a trend that real estate brokers said has been on the rise — single female homebuyers as a growing part of the market. Year ago, brokers said, women tended to wait until they married before buying a home. That’s not the case anymore…

“Twenty years ago, a single girl was not supposed to buy a house, because who’s going to fix something if it breaks,” (Catherine Wyble) said. “So many people had it in their heads that you don’t buy a house until you’re married. You would have to have a husband to have a house. Now, it’s not a big deal.”

You don’t say!

…Wyble, who herself is single and owns a home, said she has an agreement with a guy friend to help him with his laundry in exchange for his mowing her lawn…

Single guys want to see the garage and the basement, Wyble said, while single women are drawn to the kitchen, the bathrooms and “having the big stuff done.” Single women tend to avoid ranch houses out of fear of being more vulnerable sleeping on the ground level, she added.

After I stopped gagging, I wondered if it’s really true that more “single girls” are buying homes in the Rochester area. I decided to look up some statistics on the U.S. Census website, since this piece lacked any data to back up these anecdotes.

It turns out, women own more homes in the Monroe County. Even us single gals!

In 2010, there were 30,707 women heads of households in owner occupied units in Monroe County who were not in non-family households, meaning they didn’t live with relatives. The vast majority live alone. About 40 percent are senior citizens. This compares to only 23,091 men who are heads of households in nonfamily situations.

Single women who own houses made up 16 percent of homeowners in Monroe County in 2010, up from 14 percent in 2000. But the share of single men homeowners also went up 2 percent during this time, from 10 to 12 percent. That’s probably because the rate of married homeowners fell five percentage points.

If there was a headline defining this era, it wouldn’t be that more women are jumping into home ownership. It would be that more single people are buying houses.

Monroe County is not alone in more women owning homes. Nationwide data shows that since 1990, more single women than single men have owned homes. The rate of single women owning homes has been steady in recent years.

If more women than men have owned homes for decades, why is it still news when single women buy houses? Why has this been a “trend” for two decades?

Let’s foreclose on this bogus trend once and for all.


Links of the Day:


– I agree with Gary Craig. Thomas Johnson’s defense team did its job and took pains to say Daryl Pierson was not to blame for his death.

– Start-Up New York has only created 76 jobs and has not “supercharged” the state economy as the governor promised. What’s more, “Of the businesses currently running, however, just four came from out of state. In some cases, the companies have not even crossed county lines.”

– Dinner for two? NY bill would let dogs into outdoor dining areas.

22 Responses to Wow! Women Own Homes!

  1. May 14, 2015 at 10:45 pm rochester_veteran responds:

    “Nationwide data shows that since 1990, more single women than single men have owned homes. The rate of single women owning homes has been steady in recent years.”

    Isn’t this the beauty of living in a free country?

    When I was a single man, I didn’t want to own a home, I was more interested in freedom of mobility than home ownership back in those days. Back in the day, I could collect up all of my possessions and be moved out within an hour. It’s a lot more complicated now…

  2. May 15, 2015 at 8:04 am Jack Lamphier responds:

    For many years it was thought that women did not have the financial where with all to handle a purchase with the magnitude of a home or even a car for that matter. Even if they were employed it was thought that they would cease working to marry or raise a family when that opportunity arose

  3. May 15, 2015 at 9:55 am Animule responds:

    You are missing the entire point here, Rachel. The Democrat & Chronicle – like most Gannett hard copy newspapers around the US – is in the process of laying off its most seasoned (i.e. oldest and most highly paid) reporters in what may be the most blatant case of age discrimination I have ever seen. They’re “buying out” and replacing these writers with cheap, wet behind the ears reporters that lack the life experience, and real world experience, to know a real story when they see it. That’s the story here, not a bunch of women buying houses. They layoffs appear to be continuing.

  4. Just more lack luster reporting by the Rochester bird cage liner. All they want is a headline to draw you in, no actual reporting necessary.

  5. Pingback: Bending Walkability to Sell Houses » The Rochesterian

  6. May 16, 2015 at 5:43 pm Lorilyn Bailey responds:

    It was written by a freelancer.

    It was incredibly sexist and ridiculous.

    I bought a house in 1987 and then again in 1993 all by my little self. I never heard of any “stigma.”

  7. May 17, 2015 at 11:20 am B Dangelmaier responds:

    You realize the link in your article you use to underscore your point (your data citation) is not relevant to your argument, right? Look at the title of the table — Percentage of ….. compared to vacancies…”. I am not saying you are wrong, but when attacking the DandC for no data to back up claims, you may want to ensure you data cited is on point, and accurate too.

    Let me put it another way — census data showing single women home ownership increases since 1990 does not mean single women are buying more homes than single men are. Statistics 101: correlation does not equal causation. There could be other reasons for the numbers being what they are — one of which could be non-breadwinners that are women are getting the home in divorce settlements, to just name one possible reason.
    So unless you are 100 percent certain of your own assertions, you may want to be a little less attacking towards others that are not supplying data to support theirs.

    • May 17, 2015 at 11:56 am Rachel Barnhart responds:

      The chart I linked to shows home ownership rates and has nothing to do with vacancies: https://www.census.gov/compendia/statab/2012/tables/12s0992.pdf

    • May 17, 2015 at 11:58 am Rachel Barnhart responds:

      The fact is single women own more homes than men and it’s been that way for decades. The assumption they are getting them from death or divorce is pretty sexist. Don’t you think? Also, assuming you’re even correct, divorce and death couldn’t explain why more single women WITH NO KIDS owning houses outnumbers men with no kids. 40% of that group are seniors. What about the other 60%? I guess they got their houses from osmosis.

      • May 17, 2015 at 12:25 pm B Dangelmaier responds:

        Did you really just imply I am being sexist? In an article about SINGLE WOMEN, I give you ONE POSSIBLE reason that may be contributing to this, and even state it is just ONE POSSIBLE reason. And you pull that card out?

        Careful now….

    • May 17, 2015 at 11:59 am Rachel Barnhart responds:

      And if you have data to support the D&C’s claims, bring it. I can’t find any.

  8. May 17, 2015 at 12:09 pm B Dangelmaier responds:

    This is from the link, copied and placed here.

    [In percent. Represents the proportion of owner households to the total number of occupied households. Based on the Current Population Survey and Housing Vacancy Survey; see source and Appendix III for details]

    But let me keep this simple — what does this chart say to you?

  9. May 17, 2015 at 1:07 pm B Dangelmaier responds:

    Actually, the chart is very clear — but it does not do anything to support your conclusions. The main article tells about more Single Women buying homes. If you wanted to construct a logical and defensible argument against it, you should be quoting statistics concerning mortgage applications by women who are single and never married. But you won’t or can’t do that. You just want to publicly attack the DandC.

    But you typically don’t address critiques to your assertions directly — and now that you even resorted to implying I was making a sexist comment to an article concerning single women where I went out of my way to explain that it was only one possible reason — this only leads me to think of quoting Mark Twain here (or George Carlin). But I won’t, as that would only detract from this. I’m done discussing this with someone that only see’s her own point of view.

    • May 17, 2015 at 2:05 pm Rachel Barnhart responds:

      I said more women own homes than men and that’s been the case for decades. You are trying to say there’s some reason to explain it other than women buying homes. There’s nothing to support your assertion.

      • May 17, 2015 at 2:07 pm Rachel Barnhart responds:

        The National Association of Realtors says single women are the largest demo of homebuyers after married couples. Satisfied now?

      • May 17, 2015 at 2:52 pm B Dangelmaier responds:

        My God, really? Do you actually read the items / comments? I was NOT trying to say there was another reason to explain it. I was saying that you cannot take one statistic and make an assertion to there being ONLY ONE reason as to why there is a correlation between two sets of data over a period of time. I am saying that there are multiple POSSIBLE reasons as to why. Translation: You have no data that you have cited that says you are right, and you need to do a little more work before you go on attacking the article for not having data cited. Your data, although somewhat supporting, is FAR from being “the proof” that you are right and they (or anyone else) is wrong.

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