Title page for ETD etd-6998-134017

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Wood, Rebecca S. Jr.
Author's Email Address rewood@vt.edu
URN etd-6998-134017
Title Housing Market Choice Patterns of Single Women Homeowners
Degree PhD
Department Housing, Interior Design, and Resource Management
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Beamish, Julia O. Committee Chair
Arnold, Jesse C. Committee Member
Goss, Rosemary Carucci Committee Member
Leech, Irene E. Committee Member
Parrott, Kathleen R. Committee Member
  • female head of household
  • homebuying
  • homeownership
  • housing
  • housing characteristics
  • housing market
  • single women
  • tenure choice
Date of Defense 1998-05-21
Availability unrestricted
Housing researchers are aware of the lower homeownership

rates and other housing problems of single women but there

is very little research focusing on single women

homeowners or the characteristics of the housing they buy.

Also, since a wide body of research can be found that

examines determinants of homeownership for various

population groups, the importance of this study was in its

focus on single women homeowners and the characteristics of

their housing rather than the determinants of ownership for

this group.

Using data from the 1993 American Housing Survey (AHS), the

study sample consisted of 639 women homeowners who were

either widowed, divorced, separated, or never-married, and

who did not own their previous residence. The study's

purpose was to construct a profile of single women home-

owners that included a description of their demographic and

housing characteristics, the means by which they acquired

their homes, and the changes made in their housing when

they became homeowners. Additionally, this study examined

which demographic and previous housing characteristics of

this group were related to the housing characteristics of

their present homes.

Descriptive results from this study suggested that single

women homeowners are primarily middle aged without young

children at home, earn moderate incomes, and that the

largest proportion of them live in the South and metropolitan

areas. When compared to homeowners in general, single women

homeowners' homes cost less and represented a higher proportion

of attached and mobile home units. The results also showed

that single women used low-down payment financing instruments

to a lesser degree than did all homeowners.

Results from statistical analyses suggested that significant

relationships exist between single women homeowners' housing

characteristics, and a) their demographic characteristics,

b) their previous housing characteristics, and c) their reasons

for moving and selecting their current homes and neighborhoods.

Another key finding was that single women homeowners of varying

marital status differed in their present and previous housing

characteristics and their reasons for selecting the current home.

The results of this study support suggestions made by other

researchers that examining differences not only by gender but

also by the variations in marital status will help to clarify

and add to the knowledge of housing and its relevance to

populations of varying social composition.

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