LGBTQ house hunters are drawn to older and smaller homes and move more frequently than other home owners, according to the 2021 Profile of LGBTQ Home Buyers and Sellers, released by the National Association of REALTORS®. The newly released report highlights homebuying and homeselling patterns in the LGBTQ community, which has grown to nearly 19 million members in the U.S.
“Understanding how buyers navigate the housing market is essential to REALTORS®,” said Jessica Lautz, NAR’s vice president 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.”
Here are some highlights from this year’s report:
1. More likely to be first-time home buyers: LGBTQ buyers are more likely to be newer to the housing market than non-LGBTQ house hunters. They’re likely to be shopping for homes as married couples or two-person households, but one-fifth of LGBTQ buyers are unmarried or single males, the report shows. Broken out, married couples comprised 39% of LGBTQ buyers and sellers, while 21% of transactions were completed by an unmarried couple, 22% by a single male, and 15% by a single female. Bisexual buyers were more likely than other groups to be younger and to be first-time home buyers or sellers. They also were more likely to report single-income households than other home buyers.
2. Smaller, older homes prove big draw: Over the past five years, homes bought by LGBTQ buyers were an average of 170 square feet smaller. Also, the homes tended to be older, by an average of 15 years, than those purchased by non-LGBTQ buyers.
3. They tend to purchase less expensive homes: LGBTQ home buyers purchase slightly less expensive houses than non-LGBTQ buyers. The median price for homes purchased by LGBTQ buyers was $245,000, compared with $268,000 for non-LGBTQ buyers. Bisexual buyers tended to spend much less than other groups ($210,000), according to the study.
4. They plan to stay put for less time: LGBTQ owners may be less likely to put down long-term roots in one place. LGBTQ buyers expect to spend 10 years in their new home, five years less than non-LGBTQ buyers.
5. More likely to buy in urban areas and central cities: LGBTQ buyers are more likely to have purchased in cities than in small towns or rural areas compared with non-LGBTQ buyers. But they are also drawn to suburbs or subdivisions. When considering locations for buying a home, LGBTQ home shoppers rated their three most important qualities to be the quality of the neighborhood, the convenience to their job, and the overall affordability. LGBTQ buyers were less concerned overall about convenience to friends and family compared to non-LGBTQ buyers. They also placed more importance on convenience to entertainment and leisure and to proximity to a veterinarian. Additionally, LGBTQ buyers were less likely to value proximity to and the quality of schools, convenience to health facilities, and lot sizes than other Americans.
“All REALTORS® are obligated by NAR’s Code of Ethics to provide equal professional service without discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity,” says NAR President Charlie Oppler. “As we recognize Pride Month and Homeownership Month this June, it’s important to continue the pursuit of equal housing opportunities for everyone. Our communities are stronger when we are more inclusive.”