Did the 2015 Supreme Court ruling that guaranteed marriage equality in the United States also encourage gay and lesbian citizens to pursue the American Dream, either as couples or individually?

  • A survey of NAGLREP members found that almost half of them believe that their LGBT clients are showing more interest in buying a home, both couples and individuals.

Did the 2015 Supreme Court ruling that guaranteed marriage equality in the United States also encourage gay and lesbian citizens to pursue the American Dream, either as couples or individually?

That’s what a survey of more than 325 NAGLREP (National Association of Gay and Lesbian Real Estate Professionals) members seems to indicate. Almost half of the members surveyed (47 percent) believe that more gay and lesbian couples are buying homes today than they were prior to the decision — and 46 percent of members surveyed believe that interest in homeownership has risen through the entirety of the LGBT community, not just couples.

The survey, sent out in May, asked NAGLREP members about the trends they have seen in their own communities since the ruling passed.

Jeff Berger

“We firmly believe that when Jim Obergefell won his Supreme Court case, it was the start of a paradigm shift for the LGBT community,” said NAGLREP founder Jeff Berger in a statement. “The confidence we gained, coupled with society’s continued acceptance of the community, is having an impact. Marriage will likely bring more wonderful life events including children, homeownership and a potential increase in suburban living.”

Other noteworthy findings include:

  • Fifty-seven percent of respondents reported that the number of LGBT families with children have increased since the decision.
  • Forty-nine percent of respondents believed that “move up” buyers would outnumber downsizers.
  • Fifty-five percent of respondents expect a sizable number of their clients to spend more discretionary income on their homes in the coming year. These purchases include new furniture and smart home technology.
  • Twenty-nine percent of respondents believe that a sizable number of their LGBT clients will move from urban settings to the suburbs in the coming year, compared with 24 percent of respondents who believe clients will be moving from suburbs to urban settings.
  • Thirty-four percent of respondents believe that a sizable number of their LGBT clients will purchase a second home in the coming year.
  • Respondents indicated that their LGBT clients are most concerned about affordability (60 percent of respondents), competition from other buyers (57 percent of respondents) and neighborhood safety (53 percent of respondents).
  • LGBT clients seem to be least concerned about legal and title ramifications (21 percent of respondents), likelihood of loan approval (29 percent of respondents) and credit history (31 percent of respondents).

“We still have a long way to go to eradicate housing discrimination against our community,” Berger added. “NAGLREP fully supported the Equality Act, which was supported by the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus, the Human Rights Campaign and 92 major U.S. corporations, when it was unveiled in May. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) also joined us in supporting Congressman Scott Taylor’s (R-VA) proposed bill, the Fair and Equal Housing Act, to eliminate housing discrimination against the LGBT community. NAR has shared that they will also support the Equality Act.”

“The higher prices in today’s real estate market are largely the result of a lack of supply and increased competition amongst buyers, and clearly the LGBT buyer is aware of this,” Berger concluded. “I do believe the LGBT community should be more aware of the legal and title issues because unmarried couples do not automatically share their same protections.”

Email Amber Taufen

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