The third annual “LGBT Real Estate Report” (issued by the National Association of Gay and Lesbian Real Estate Professionals (NAGLREP) in conjunction with Freddie Mac ahead of the April 10-11 LGBT Housing Policy Summit held in Washington, D.C.) found that housing discrimination — and the fear of it — continues to have a profound impact on LGBTQ homeownership levels that are currently at 49 percent, far below the national average of 65 percent.
The “LGBT Real Estate Report” shared that 46 percent of LGBTQ renters fear discrimination in their future home buying process. And, for the first time, the report identified how this fear is having a direct impact on potential LGBTQ buyer behavior.
“This year’s commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, which launched the modern LGBT movement, showcases the strides the community has made and the challenges we still face, including housing discrimination,” NAGLREP founder Jeff Berger said. “The Equality Act was recently re-introduced in Congress, and if passed would amend the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity in employment, housing, public accommodations, public education, federal funding, credit and the jury system. NAGLREP members believe removing housing discrimination as a barrier of entry would pave the way for substantial LGBT homeownership increases.”
Berger pointed out that 22 percent of surveyed members believe LGBTQ home ownership levels would climb 5-9 percent within five years of the Equality Act being passed. Another 25 percent believe it would jump at least 10 percent.
“At the same time, 58 percent of our members believe the current White House administration’s policies on LGBT issues are having a negative impact on the community’s confidence to buy or sell a home,” Berger said.
Marriage Equality Helping
The LGBTQ community has clearly benefited since same-sex marriage was legalized in the historic Obergefell v. Hodges Supreme Court decision on June 26, 2015. The ruling has impacted home buying habits.
NAGLREP members (55 percent) believe more married LGBTQ couples are buying homes since the Supreme Court victory. The number has grown from 46 percent just two years ago.
The report also shows that 73 percent of all married LGBTQ couples own their own home, compared to 41percent of non-married LGBTQ couples and only 35 percent of LGBTQ singles.
Additionally, 67 percent of NAGLREP members believe the number of LGBTQ individuals with children has increased since the ruling. This momentum should be a good sign for the real estate market as 64 percent of LGBT parents currently own a home.
LGBTQ Individuals Value Safety and Welcoming Community
LGBT homebuyers (95 percent) shared that a lack of LGBTQ community violence was what they valued most when choosing a neighborhood. The neighborhood’s vibe and a low violent crime rate followed at 92 percent while sexual orientation anti-discrimination laws were cited at 82 percent.
Renting LGBTQ Individuals Do Not Fully Recognize Homeownership Value
Interestingly, 72 percent of LGBTQ renters want to own a home in the future, yet surveyed renters have yet to recognize the financial and emotional benefits of homeownership. The report found that 79 percent of LGBTQ renters believe homeownership is a good financial move compared to 95 percent of LGBTQ homeowners. As for homeownership being part of their American Dream, only 65 percent of LGBTQ renters agreed compared to 87 percent for LGBTQ homeowners.
“The report showcases many of the challenges LGBTs face today in their journey to homeownership, but we also see the opportunity for all of us in the real estate industry to embrace and educate the LGBT community as we now have a greater understanding of what drives their concerns,” Berger said. The report fueled discussions at summit, along with how realtors can impact change at the local, state and national levels.
About the Report
The “LGBT Real Estate Report” combines research from NAGLREP’s annual member survey with Freddie Mac’s “The LGBT Community: Buying and Renting Homes Report.”
“The annual ‘LGBT Real Estate Report’ provides a detailed picture of the LGBT community,” said Danny Gardner, Freddie Mac senior vice president of Single Family Affordable Lending and Access to Credit. “The information here is intended to be a valuable resource for businesses that seek to connect with this community, and we are proud to be a part of that goal.”
NAGLREP fielded the survey to approximately 2,300 members via Survey Monkey in February. There were 648 participants.