Tri-Cities single male-female homeownership numbers a study of telling contrasts


Almost every real estate ad focuses on a family or couple and their new home. But that’s only part of the story. The ranks of single homeowners have steadily increased as people marry later or choose the single life.

That sets the stage for a telling gender housing market study.

An analysis of the local data that was part of a larger RealtyTrac study shows some even more interesting divisions in the Tri-Cities’ two Metropolitan Statistical Areas.

Nationwide homes owned by single men on average are valued 10% more and appreciated $10,113 (16%) more since purchase than homes owned by single women.

Before we get into the local numbers, there’s a local benchmark consideration.

It cost more to buy a home in the Johnson City MSA than it does in Kingsport-Bristol. The Augusts year-to-date average sales price in the Johnson City MSA was $177,859. In Kingsport-Bristol it was $159,759, according to the Northeast Tennessee Association of Realtors’ Trends Report.

A separate ReatlyTrac affordability analysis found it took 29.1% of household income to buy a home in Washington County. In Sullivan County, a home purchase consumed 18.5% of household income.

But while the Johnson City area’s housing is more expensive the median household wage in Kingsport-Bristol is higher. The most current Census data puts the Kingsport-Bristol median at $39,213 and $38,813 in the Johnson City MSA. Median family incomes are $11,390 higher in the Johnson City MSA and $13,597 in Kingsport-Bristol.

The average male full-time worker in Kingsport-Bristol makes $41,874 a year. His counterpart in the Johnson City MSA makes $36,916.

There isn’t a much female-to-female wage gap as there is male-to-female. The average female full-time worker in Kingsport-Bristol makes $31,453, In the Johnson City MSA, she makes $30,594.

On average, homes owned by a single-woman in the Johnson City MAS have a higher value than those owned by a single male, but it hasn’t appreciated as much since purchase.

Here’s what the numbers look like for Johnson City.

Avg. estimated home value:

Single female – $132,667.

Single male – $124,838.

Avg. value gain since purchase:

Single female –  10% return on purchase.

Single male – 10.6% return on purchase.

On average, the estimated value of a home owned by a single male in Kingsport-Bristol is slightly higher and has a considerable higher percentage return on purchase.

Here’s what the numbers look like for Kingsport-Bristol:

Avg. estimated home value:

Single male – $117,612.

Single female – $113,333.

Avg. value gain since purchase:

Single male – 15.9% return on purchase.

Single female –  2% return on purchase.

“Women earn less than men on average — 19% less according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics – giving them less purchasing power when it comes to buying a home,” said Daren Blomquist, senior vice president at RealtyTrac. “So it’s not surprising to see the 10% gender gap in average home values between single men and single women homeowners; however, the slower home price appreciation for homes owned by single women demonstrates that less purchasing power is also having on a domino effect on their ability to build wealth through homeownership as quickly as single men.”

But that conclusion doesn’t match local conditions.

Full-time female workers in the Johnson City MSA earn 17.1% less than males. But even with less purchasing power they buy more home and have almost the same value gain since purchase as single males.

Full-time female workers in Kingsport-Bristol earn 24.9% less than males, but the value of their home is only $4,287 (4%) less than single males. However, there’s a $14,312 avg. value gain since purchase gap enjoyed by single male homeowners.

Among homes owned for at least 15 years, those owned by single men on average had a current market value 17% higher than single female owners. That data set isn’t available for the local markets.

 

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