LGBTs Say Discrimination Fears Keep Them From Buying
March 27, 2019
Housing discrimination, or the fear of it, is keeping many consumers in the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community from buying a home and contributes significantly to sagging homeownership rates in the LGBT community, finds a new survey of nearly 2,300 LGBTs.
Forty-four percent of respondents said they would be anxious about how welcoming potential neighbors and the community would be of them, and 40 percent would be overly concerned about neighbors or the community’s reaction if they started a family. Further, 36 percent would be cautious about hiring the right professionals to help them in the buying process (such as finding a real estate agent and mortgage lender), and 22 percent feared their offer would be rejected, according to the survey conducted by the National Association of Gay and Lesbian Real Estate Professionals.
Overall, 46 percent of LGBT renters said they fear discrimination in their future homebuying process. NAGLREP officials say the survey shows that is causing homeownership rates among LGBTs to fall below national averages; LGBT homeownership levels are currently at 49 percent, far below the national average of 65 percent.
NAGLREP used the survey’s findings to call for support of the recently reintroduced Equality Act in Congress. If passed, the bill would amend the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity in employment, housing, public accommodations, public education, federal funding, credit, and the jury system.
“NAGLREP members believe removing housing discrimination as a barrier of entry would pave the way for substantial LGBT homeownership increases,” says Jeff Berger, NAGLREP’s founder.
Indeed, 22 percent of survey respondents say they believe LGBT homeownership levels would increase 5 to 9 percent within five years of the Equality Act being passed. An additional 25 percent believe the homeownership rate would jump at least 10 percent.
Additional highlights from the report:
- Married LGBTs tend to be homeowners more than unmarried LGBTs. The LGBT community has increased its homeownership rates since the U.S. Supreme Court decision to legalize same-sex marriage on June 26, 2015. Seventy-three percent of married LGBT couples own their home, compared to 41 percent of unmarried LGBT couples and only 35 percent of LGBT singles.
- 95 percent of LGBT home buyers said that the lack of LGBT violence was the most important factor to them in choosing a neighborhood, followed by the neighborhood’s vibe and low crime rate.
- 72 percent of LGBT renters say they want to own a home in the future. Seventy-nine percent of LGBT renters say homeownership is a good financial move; still, that is below the 95 percent of actual LGBT homeowners who say homeownership is a smart financial move.
“The report showcases many of challenges LGBTs face today in their journey to homeownership, but we also see the opportunity for all of us in the real estate industry to embrace and educate the LGBT community as we now have a greater understanding of what drives their concerns,” Berger says.
The survey combined research from NAGLREP’s annual member survey with Freddie Mac’s “The LGBT Community: Buying and Renting Homes Report.”
“LGBT Real Estate Report 2019-2020,” the National Association of Gay and Lesbian Real Estate Professionals (March 26, 2019)
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Updated: August 18, 2022