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Examining Buying, Selling Behaviors of LBGTQ+ Homeowners

Homebuyers who identify as LBGTQ+ reportedly tend to purchase older, smaller homes than their non-LBGTQ+ counterparts. This demographic also report planning to live in their new homes for 10 years, an average of five years less than buyers who identify as cisgender and/or straight. These findings come from the 2021 Profile of LGBTQ Home Buyers and Sellers from the National Association of Realtors (NAR), whose research team also found that LGBTQ+ buyers and sellers were more likely than non-LGBTQ to be single men and unmarried couples and were more likely to identify as male than as female. Also, buyers and sellers who identified as bisexual were more likely than other groups to be younger, be first-time homebuyers or sellers, and report lower incomes.

“Understanding how buyers navigate the housing market is essential to Realtors,” said Jessica Lautz, NAR’s VP of demographics and behavioral insights. “This report details the impact of the housing affordability challenges on LGBTQ buyers, who typically had lower household incomes and were more likely to be purchasing more affordable homes.”

NAR says it first added a question about sexual orientation to its annual Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers study in 2015.

NAR’s annual report also found that the median sale price for homes purchased by LGBTQ buyers was $245,000, compared to $268,000 for non-LGBTQ buyers. "LGBTQ buyers were much more likely to have purchased in urban areas and less likely to have bought in small towns or rural areas. All groups were equally likely to have purchased in a suburb or subdivision," NAR reported.

While there were no significant differences between the groups when it came to home types purchased, comparing LGBTQ home sellers to non-LGBTQ home sellers showed that LGBTQ homeowners were less likely to sell a detached single-family home (69% vs. 81%) and more likely to sell a townhouse/row house (11% vs. 6%), or an apartment condo (8% vs 4%).

When considering locations for buying a home, the three most important characteristics—quality of neighborhood, convenience to job, and overall affordability—were the same for all groups, NAR reported.

The statistics are broken down into more detail in the full report, available at NAR.Realtor/research.

NAR President Charlie Oppler notes that all NAR members are obligated by the trade association's Code of Ethics to provide equal professional service without discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

"As we recognize Pride Month and Homeownership Month this June, it’s important to continue the pursuit of equal housing opportunities for everyone," he said. "Our communities are stronger when we are more inclusive."

About Author: Christina Hughes Babb

Christina Hughes Babb is a reporter for DS News and MReport. A graduate of Southern Methodist University, she has been a reporter, editor, and publisher in the Dallas area for more than 15 years. During her 10 years at Advocate Media/Dallas Magazine, she published thousands of articles covering local politics, real estate, development, crime, the arts, entertainment, and human interest, among other topics. She has won two national Mayborn School of Journalism Ten Spurs awards for nonfiction, and has penned pieces for Texas Monthly, Salon.com, Dallas Observer, Edible, and the Dallas Morning news, among others. Contact Christina at christina.hughesbabb@thefivestar.com.

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