LGBTs Worry About Housing Discrimination

June 1, 2015

The majority of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender respondents recently surveyed believe home ownership is a good investment, but they hold strong concerns towards housing discrimination, according to the first-ever LGBT Home Buyer and Seller Survey conducted by the Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate and the National Association of Gay and Lesbian Real Estate Professionals.

About 73 percent of the 1,700 LGBT respondents surveyed said they were significantly concerned about some aspect of housing discrimination, whether in the home buying or renting process. The respondents expressed concerns about discrimination by home sellers, real estate agents, landlords, mortgage lenders, property management companies, and neighbors -- with the highest concern rates among those who identified as transgender.

"The high ratio of LGBTs concerned about some aspect of housing discrimination is alarming and demonstrates the importance of our organization's continued legislative and advocacy work on behalf of the consumer," says Jeff Berger, founder of the National Association of Gay and Lesbian Real Estate Professionals.

Individuals who identify as LGBT represent an estimated buying power of $840 billion, Berger says.

"The LGBT community is a key part of the nation’s landscape and a powerful market segment that is increasingly achieving social milestones that are historical triggers to home purchases, such as partnerships, marriage, and having children," Berger says.

Of those surveyed, about 89 percent of LGBT home owners and 75 percent of LGBT non-home owners believe home ownership is a good investment. What's more, 81 percent of LGBTs surveyed feel that a ruling for marriage equality will make them feel more financially protected and confident, which could be key in paving the way toward home ownership, according to the survey.

The survey also found that LGBT respondents looking to buy a home in the next three years say that the key characteristics they search for in a real estate agent is one who has a good reputation and is LGBT-friendly.

Source: "New Survey Released on LGBT Homebuying," RISMedia (May 31, 2015)