NAR Report: More LGBTQ Buyers Purchasing Older, Smaller Homes
The annual report compares LGBTQ buyers and sellers to the overall market. It found that LGBTQ buyers buy smaller and older homes, but they plan to move out five years earlier than other buyers. As a group, they tend to identify as male more than female, and be single and unmarried.
WASHINGTON – Home buyers from America’s LGBTQ community purchase older, smaller and less expensive homes than non-LGBTQ buyers, according to the 2021 Profile of LGBTQ Home Buyers and Sellers released by the National Association of Realtors® (NAR).
Over the past five years, homes bought by LGBTQ buyers were 170 square feet smaller and 15 years older, typically, than those purchased by non-LGBTQ buyers.
“Understanding how buyers navigate the housing market is essential to Realtors®,” says 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.”
NAR first added a question about sexual orientation to its annual Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers study in 2015.
Characteristics of homes bought/sold
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 in small towns or rural areas. There was no purchasing difference in a suburb or subdivision.
LGBTQ buyers expect to spend 10 years in their new home – five years fewer than non-LGBTQ buyers’ expectations at the time of purchase.
While the study found no difference between LGBTQ and non-LGBTQ buyers as far as type of home – single-family, detached, condo, etc. – it did find a difference among sellers. LGBTQ sellers were less likely to sell a detached single-family home (69% LGBTQ vs. 81% non-LGBTQ), and more likely to sell a townhouse/row house (11% vs. 6%) or an apartment condo (8% vs. 4%).
Characteristics of buyers and sellers
Since 2015, the percentage of LGBTQ home buyers and sellers has been a steady 4%, with 51% identifying as male, 40% identifying as female, and 8% identifying as non-binary, gender-nonconforming or third gender.
Married couples made up 39% of LGBTQ buyers and sellers, 21% by unmarried couples, 22% by a single male and 15% by a single female. The median age (42) and annual income ($93,200) of LGBTQ buyers and sellers were slightly lower than non-LGBTQ buyers and sellers (46 and $97,000, respectively).
Of LGBTQ home buyers, 42% were first-time buyers, compared to just 32% for non-LGBTQ buyers. However, the two groups were about equally likely to be first-time home sellers – at 37% and 33%, respectively.
When examining demographics, NAR says the type of sexual orientation made a difference, notably between lesbian/gay buyers and sellers and bisexual buyers and sellers. The typical bisexual home buyer and seller was 34 years old, compared to 45 among buyers and sellers identifying as gay or lesbian – and 63% of bisexual buyers and sellers were female. They were more likely to report single-income households than other home buyers, even when controlling for age. Bisexual home buyers were also much more likely to be first-time homebuyers (61%) or first-time home sellers (50%) than other groups.
Considerations in a home search
When considering home locations, the three most important qualities – quality of neighborhood, convenience to job and overall affordability – were the same for all groups. However, 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 proximity to a veterinarian. Additionally, LGBTQ buyers were less likely to value local 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.”
© 2021 Florida Realtors®