LGBT renters wait for marriage to move to home ownership

National Association of Gay and Lesbian Real Estate Professionals logo
National Association of Gay and Lesbian Real Estate Professionals logo
New report shows LGBT home buying and renovation numbers are strong

It has been more than three years since the Supreme Court ruled in favor of Marriage Equality. Many thought this paved the way for the continued increase of LGBT married couples purchasing homes. The National Association of Gay and Lesbian Real Estate Professionals’ second annual LGBT Real Estate Report shows the real numbers. The NAGLREP has more than 2,000 members. It is one of the nation’s largest LGBT trade associations.

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 from last year.

LGBTs continue to also have a positive impact on the nation’s housing market in other ways. 41% of surveyed NAGLREP members expect a sizeable number of their LGBT clients will “move up” vs. downsize (20%) in the near future. And 27% of members believe a large number of their LGBT clients will buy a second home in the very near future. And 48% said they anticipate that their LGBT clients will soon make a major home renovation.

LGBT renting versus owning a home statistics

The LGBT community is noted as an economic driver in the survey of 485 members. They asked, why LGBTs are choosing home ownership over renting. “A discussion at our summit in April showed that commentary about LGBT home ownership often revolves around two-income couples,” said NAGLREP founder Jeff Berger. “And while these couples are buying and moving up, we also wanted to explore the reasons for first time home ownership within the LGBT community and why others choose to remain renters.”

Two of the major reasons cited by NAGLREP members for LGBT clients buying first home were “they found the right property and job stability. Other reasons were enough financial stability to earn credit and the pride of home ownership is greater than renting.

“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 said. “It will be interesting to see over time how marriage and engagement drive interest in home ownership along with children, since 62% of our members believe the number of LGBTs with kids is increasing since Marriage Equality.”

Berger pointed out that 59% of NAGLREP members believe that LGBT renters believe they live in an area where the cost of home ownership might be exorbitant.

The study found that financial considerations sometimes drive LGBTs decision to remain renters. They said it appears there is a need for education and awareness about the home buying and mortgage processes.

Reasons why LGBTs remain renters 

62% of LGBT home and apartment renters were concerned about financial status. And 62% said they live in an area where cost of home ownership might be exorbitant. Meanwhile almost as many, 59%, were concerned about long term financial stability. Other reasons for staying in a rental situation were a need of further knowledge about the home buying process, 59%, and 57% were nervous or fearful about the credit and mortgage process.

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

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

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