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.  NAGLREP, with more than 2,000 members, 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 over 47% 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” vs. downsize (20%) in the near future.  Additionally, 27% of members believe a sizeable number of their LGBT clients will buy a second home in the near future, with 48% 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 second annual NAGLREP LGBT Real Estate Report, an online survey of 485 members, 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,” said NAGLREP founder Jeff Berger. “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 reason cited by NAGLREP members for LGBT clients buying first home:

Reason

% Citing as Major Reason

Found the right property

40%

Job stability

37%

Enough financial stability to earn credit

33%

Pride of homeownership is greater than renting

30%

Saved for down payment

29%

Mortgage payments were comparable to rental fees

24%

Became comfortable with home buying process

24%

Home price was affordable

20%

Became aware of emotional benefits of homeownership

16%

Recently married

12%

Recently engaged

   6%


“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 homeownership 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 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:

Reasons for Renting

% of Members Who Agree

Concerned about financial status

62%

Believe they live in area where cost of homeownership might be exorbitant

59%

Concerned about long term financial stability

59%

In need of further knowledge about home buying process

57%

Nervous/fearful about credit/mortgage process

51%

Unaware of how mortgage payments compare to rental fees

47%

They are waiting to find “right” partner before buying home

18%

They are waiting to get married before becoming homeowners

14%

Recently engaged

   6%

 

“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 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 Survey Monkey in July.  More than 480 participated.

 

Visit www.naglrep.com for more information.

 

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