Can one afford to be homeowner in a gay neighborhood? Part 1 in honor of Pride Month

Welcome to the Gayborhood


From Provincetown to the Castro, gay men and women have made neighborhoods their own. Many are pricey, but in honor of Gay Pride month, has found some affordable neighborhoods where you can be out and proud.

According to this study, even in the big, expensive cities, it’s possible to find a gay community without spending a fortune. But interestingly, gay men and gay women, who often cluster in very different neighborhoods even in the same metro, don’t always find the same kinds of homeownership realities.

Trulia’s methodology

For each zipcode in the US, Trulia calculated the share of households that are same-sex male couples and same-sex female couples, based on the 2010 Census. Then, we combined the Census data on where the largest number of gay people live with median price per foot of listed homes in  those areas over the past year.

Trulia readily admits that the Census doesn’t ask for sexual orientation, so the only way to measure “gay neighborhoods” is to use those where same self-reported same-sex couples live. Says Trulia: “The Census data requires some corrections and adjustments, described here.” Trulia also recognizes that sometimes, zipcodes don’t perfectly correspond to am identified neighborhood (as in, some parts of Noe Valley may share a zip with the Castro), but Trulia explains that  ”we did our best to use the closest neighborhood names that correspond to the zipcodes in our analysis.”


America’s Gayest Neighborhoods

Those caveats aside, census data reports around 646,000 same-sex households in the US, or 0.6% of the country’s 117 million households. Of the same-sex households, 51% are female couples and 49% are male couples. But many neighborhoods have a concentration of same-sex couples more than 10 times that national average. And the Castro, SF’s own famously, fabulously gay neighborhood, tops the list in terms of percentage and expense. The expense part is actually quite drastic, per Trulia calculations.

ZIP codes with highest concentration of same-sex male couples Share of households Median price per square foot
94114: Castro, San Francisco, CA14.2%671
92264: Palm Springs, CA12.4%146
02657: Provincetown, Cape Cod, MA11.5%532
92262: Palm Springs, CA11.3%136
33305: Wilton Manors, Fort Lauderdale, FL10.6%206
90069: West Hollywood, Los Angeles, CA8.9%481
94131: Noe Valley / Glen Park / Diamond Heights, San Francisco, CA7.4%564
75219: Oak Lawn, Dallas, TX7.1%160
19971: Rehoboth Beach, DE7.0%187
48069: Pleasant Ridge, suburban Detroit, MI6.8%107

Meanwhile, the top neighborhoods for women are different.

ZIP codes with highest concentration of same-sex female couplesShare of householdsMedian price per square foot
02657: Provincetown, Cape Cod, MA5.1%532
01062: Northampton, MA3.3%187
01060: Northampton, MA2.6%189
02130: Jamaica Plain, Boston, MA2.4%304
19971: Rehoboth Beach, DE2.4%187
95446: Guerneville, north of San Francisco, CA2.2%197
02667: Wellfleet, Cape Cod, MA2.2%340
94619: Redwood Heights / Skyline, Oakland, CA2.1%230
30002: Avondale Estates, suburban Atlanta, GA1.9%97
94114: Castro, San Francisco, CA1.9%671

Just three neighborhoods — Provincetown, Rehoboth, and the Castro — are on both the men’s and women’s top lists. The top four women’s neighborhoods, including Provincetown, are in Massachusetts. But 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, 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.

Tune in Thursday when we return with part 2 of this study, when we’ll explore more closely the price of being both gay and a homeowner in these neighborhoods. Until then, happy pride month!

Posted By: Anna Marie Hibble ( Email ) | Jun 19 at 9:00 am