According to a new report from Zillow, LGBT homebuyers and renters are having to pay a premium if they want to live in an area that affords them legal protections against housing discrimination. These protections include “being evicted, denied housing or refused the ability to rent or buy housing based on sexual orientation or gender identity.”
Zillow says that while these premiums pertain specifically to buyers, LGBT renters are also feeling the impact since high home values typically translate into high rents.
As LGBT protections against housing discriminations do not exist at the federal level, they vary widely at the local levels. According to Zillow, currently only 22 U.S. states, as well as Washington, D.C., offer statewide laws that explicitly prohibit housing discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
Zillow found that typical home values in areas with legal protections run about $127,000 higher than in areas without these laws—$328,575 instead of $201,462. In addition, areas with these protections also offer the added bonus of employment- and public accommodation-based protections against discrimination.
According to the report, buyers in Hawaii, Washington, D.C., and California may experience the highest premiums. In Hawaii, home values are 219 percent higher than the typical home values in areas that don’t offer protections. The District of Columbia is 218 percent higher, and California is 187 percent higher. Iowa is the only state that offers protections, and home costs run less than in places without any protections.
Most Expensive Premiums in States With Statewide Protections for LBGT:
Typical Home Value: $642,526
2. Washington, D.C.
Typical Home Value: $640,783
Typical Home Value: $578,267
Typical Home Value: $433,883
Typical Home Value: $428,896
Typical Home Value: $408,794
Typical Home Value: $372,868
Typical Home Value: $355,484
9. New Jersey
Typical Home Value: $342,527
10. New York
Typical Home Value: $328,677
“In addition to providing legal protections, there are other steps local and state governments can take to create housing markets that are more inclusive and accessible for LGBT people,” said Skylar Olsen, senior principal economist at Zillow. “We know LGBT buyers—especially LGBT buyers of color—are more likely to purchase affordable home types such as condos and townhomes. More local governments should work to allow more of these types of homes, opening up areas and neighborhoods that historically priced out many LGBT buyers. Legal protections for LGBT become more meaningful when people can afford to access them.”
For more information, please visit www.zillow.com.