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It has been more than three years since the Supreme Court ruled in favor of marriage equality, paving the way for the continued increase of LGBT married couples purchasing homes, according to the National Association of Gay and Lesbian Real Estate Professionals’ (NAGLREP) second annual LGBT Real Estate Report, an online survey of 485 members of NAGLREP.

Forty-nine percent of surveyed NAGLREP members report an uptick in LGBT married couples buying homes since the Supreme Court ruled in favor of marriage equality on June 26, 2015. This was an increase over 47 percent last year.

LGBTs continue to also have a positive impact on the nation’s housing market in other ways. Forty-one percent of surveyed NAGLREP members expect a sizeable number of their LGBT clients will “move up” versus downsize (20 percent) in the near future. Additionally, 27 percent of members believe a sizeable number of their LGBT clients will buy a second home in the near future, with 48 percent anticipating that their LGBT clients will soon make a major home renovation.

Rent vs. Own
Although the LGBT community is noted as an economic driver, the report shed light on why LGBTs are choosing homeownership over renting. 

“A discussion at our NAGLREP Housing Policy Summit in April showed that commentary about LGBT homeownership often revolves around two-income couples,” says Jeff Berger, founder of NAGLREP. “And while these couples are buying and moving up, we also wanted to explore the reasons for first-time homeownership within the LGBT community and why others choose to remain renters.”

Major Reasons Cited by NAGLREP Members for LGBT Clients Buying First Home:


“Home-buying and -selling decisions are often predicated on such life events as marriage, children, new jobs, death and divorce, yet our members believe LGBTs have a more pragmatic approach based on financial security,” Berger says. “It will be interesting to see over time how marriage and engagement drive interest in homeownership along with children, since 62 percent of our members believe the number of LGBTs with kids is increasing since marriage equality.”

Berger adds that 59 percent of NAGLREP members believe that LGBT renters believe they live in an area where the cost of homeownership might be exorbitant.

The NAGLREP study found that financial considerations also largely drive LGBTs decision to remain renters, although it appears there is a need for education and awareness about the home buying and mortgage processes.

Reasons Why LGBTs Remain Renters:


“These findings are eye-opening for us and we hope for all of the real estate community,” says Berger. “There are a variety of reasons LGBTs may not be as aware of the emotional and financial benefits of homeownership, but we now recognize the need for further, and potentially more targeted, education and enlightenment.”

NAGLREP fielded the survey to approximately 2,000 members via SurveyMonkey in July. More than 480 participated.

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