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Study: LGBTQ+ Homebuyers Face Unique Challenges

23.5% of LGBTQ+ renters can’t rely on family/friends for financial help compared to 14% of other buyers. They also have more student loan debt, 18.4% vs. 11.4%.

SEATTLE – A study by Qualtrics commissioned by Redfin found that LGBTQ+ renters have more trouble becoming homeowners than non-LGBTQ+ renters, in part because 23.5% of LGBTQ+ renters don’t expect financial support from family or friends, a problem cited by only 14% of non LGBTQ+ renters.

LGBTQ+ renters were also more likely than non LGBTQ+ renters to cite student loan debt –  18.4% vs 11.4%.

However, the top problem for LGBTQ+ renters (51.2%) is the same one mentioned by all renters (43.1%): Homes are too expensive. Similarly, 44.9% of LGBTQ+ renters cited “saving for a down payment” as an obstacle, compared to 35.7% of non LGBTQ+ renters.

For virtually every barrier to homeownership suggested, LGBTQ+ respondents were more likely than non LGBTQ+ respondents to check the box. However, one choice bucked that trend: LGBTQ+ renters were less likely (13.2%) than non LGBTQ+ renters (20.1%) to say they’re not interested in owning a home.

“Young people are often rewarded financially for fulfilling heteronormative expectations around getting married and having kids,” says Redfin Chief Economist Daryl Fairweather. “For example, it’s common for a bride and groom to receive thousands of dollars in cash gifts when they get married, which they can put toward buying or renovating a home.

“LGBTQ+ couples, on the other hand, often get married later in life, and may not receive financial support if they’ve been shut out by their families.”

Homeowners who purchased with the last year

Recent LGBTQ+ homebuyers worked more second jobs (29.1% vs 18.3% of non LGBTQ+ buyers) to buy a home, sold more stock investments (18.5% vs 13.8%) and sold cryptocurrency (14.8% vs 8.5%). They also saved more directly from paychecks (46.6% vs 36.5%).

Recent LGBTQ+ homebuyers were less likely to say they had proceeds from the sale of another home toward their down payment (23.3% vs 29.5%), in part because they’re less likely to own homes in the first place.

The LGBTQ+ homeownership rate is 51%; the straight and cisgender rate is 71%. LGBTQ+ Americans skew younger, which is one reason for the disparity.

Location, location, location

  • 37.9% of LGBTQ+ buyers would only live in a place that has laws ensuring equality based on gender or sexual orientation, compared with 16.3% of non-LGBTQ+ respondents.
  • 33.3% (compared to 10.4% of non-LGBTQ+ buyers) would only live in areas where schools allow discussion of LGBTQ+ topics.
  • 25.9% (vs. 11%) would only live in a place where gender affirming care for children is fully legal
  • Racial diversity, strong gun control laws and legal abortion were also more likely to be “musts” for LGBTQ+ respondents than for non LGBTQ+ respondents

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