While gay and lesbian homebuyers differ little from their heterosexual peers, bisexual homebuyers tend to earn less and buy homes at a younger age, according to a new study by the National Association of Realtors, released Thursday.
The report, entitled Profile of Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Buyers and Sellers, analyzes the tendencies of 918 lesbian, gay or bisexual homebuyers gleaned from three years of the Profile of Home Buyer and Sellers. The last Sunday in June is typically celebrated as Gay Pride Day and “Gay & Lesbian Pride Month” is observed throughout the month.
“The number of homebuyers and sellers who identify as lesbian, gay or bisexual has remained steady at 4 percent since we first included the question in our HBS survey in 2015,” NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun said in a prepared statement. “Given that millennials now make up 37 percent of homebuyers and attitudes regarding sexual orientation continue to shift even among Generation Z, we expect to see this percentage increase in future surveys as younger generations are more likely to self-identify as LGB.”
In general, gay and lesbian homebuyers differ little from heterosexual ones. The typical gay or lesbian homebuyer is 45 years old and earns a median income of $92,900, compared to a median age of 44 and income of $91,200 for the heterosexual peer. Bisexual homebuyers, meanwhile, tend to veer younger and less wealthy — they have a median age of only 36 years old and have a median income of $62,400.
When it comes to selling a home, bisexual homeowners are more likely to be first-time homesellers. Approximately 50 percent identified as such, compared to 36 percent among both heterosexual and gay and lesbian respondents. In line with these findings, bisexual buyers tended to purchase smaller and older homes.
Their median square footage, meanwhile, clocked in at 1,840 while the median year it was built was 1966. Lesbian and gay buyers had a median square footage of 1,900 and a median year of 1974 while heterosexual buyers had a median square footage of 2,060 and a median year of 1985.
Bisexual buyers were also more likely to have made compromises. Indeed, 28 percent have compromised on price, 23 percent on style of home and 23 percent or distance from their jobs. The study also found a link between one’s sexual orientation and the type of home one prefers — 86 percent of bisexual buyers were most likely to purchase a detached single-family home (86%). Heterosexual buyers, meanwhile, preferred multi-generational home more than people in the LGB community. Records for trans individuals were not included in the study.
“The American Dream of homeownership traverses across the spectrum of our society – including sexual orientation – and Realtors always have and will continue to advocate so that anyone who wants to, and is capable of purchasing a home, is able to do so,” said NAR President John Smaby, a second-generation Realtor from Edina, Minnesota and a broker at Edina Realty.
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