Real EstateTrends

Relationships, children play a large role in LGBTQ+ homeownership

Conversely, anti-LGBTQ+ rhetoric is hurting consumer confidence, new study shows

Committed relationships, engagements, and marriages play a significant role in driving LGBTQ+ homeownership, according to “The LGBTQ+ Journey to Homeownership,” a new report released by the LGBTQ+ Real Estate Alliance.

The report also highlights the adverse impact that recent anti-LGBTQ+ bills and rhetoric have had on consumer confidence and homeowner behavior.

According to the survey results, 37.7% of LGBTQ+ respondents identify a “formalized” relationship, engagement, or marriage as one of the top three reasons for their decision to become first-time homebuyers, making it the primary driver after financial considerations. 

Lesbian women (58.4%) are more likely than gay men (34.3%) to report a “formalized” relationship, engagement, or marriage as one of their top three reasons for purchasing their first home, according to the report. 

On the other hand, straight respondents (53.8%) rank this factor as the second most important, following “long-term financial investment.”

In addition to the driving factors for homeownership, the report also highlights the impact of children on LGBTQ+ homeownership. 

Recent U.S. Census data shows that a significant increase in same-sex marriages has led to more LGBTQ+ people becoming parents. According to UCLA’s Williams Institute, 29.0% of LGBTQ+ people have children, with 21.9% of married same-sex couples raising kids. 

This, in turn, has impacted the factors behind LGBTQ+ home buying. 

According to the member survey, children and growing families are a prominent home buying trigger for both straight and LGBTQ+ respondents. The primary difference is that while straight respondents prioritize children and growing families in their first three home purchases, LGBTQ+ respondents emphasize the importance of children and growing families when buying their second home.

“We are only eight years into the legalization of same-sex marriage and are now beginning to see signs that more LGBTQ+ people are becoming parents. This is leading to an emphasis on their children’s well-being and education when choosing where to live,” Ryan Weyandt, CEO of the LGBTQ+ Real Estate Alliance, said.

LGBTQ+ homeownership location preferences

Regarding homeownership locations, the survey indicates that straight respondents overwhelmingly choose non-urban areas for all their home purchases.

LGBTQ+ individuals, on the other hand, show a more varied preference, while largely favoring communities with a mix of shops, offices and homes. Per the study results, 51% of LGBTQ+ adults say they prefer to live in suburbs or small towns with this mix. 

However, as LGBTQ+ people progress to their fourth home purchase, they are more likely to return to urban areas, with gay men leading the shift. Lesbian women are also more likely to consider resort communities at that point in their homeownership journey.

The Alliance survey found that 31.5% of all LGBTQ+ members considered a community’s social and dating scene as one of the top five reasons they selected where to first live on their own. A strong LGBTQ+ presence (28.5%) and nightlife (24.5%) were also mentioned prominently. Gay men rated each slightly higher at 35.6%, 29.8% and 28.9%.

When LGBTQ+ members purchased their first home, the social and dating scene and nightlife do not play a large impact, according to the survey. Neither nightlife or the social and dating scene scored as a top 10 reason for selecting the community they bought their home in.

A strong LGBTQ+ presence, however, did have an impact. According to the report, a strong LGBTQ+ presence was the eighth most important reason in selecting where to buy.

“The report shows what we have been saying for years, LGBTQ+ people are people and we value so much of the same things as everyone else,” LGBTQ+ Real Estate Alliance’s Erin Morrison, a Realtor in Texas, said. “We want access to good jobs, affordability, to be near our friends and family, have loving relationships and live in welcoming communities. We deserve respect, dignity, and the unhindered ability to be

LGTBQ+ discrimination and the housing market

The report also sheds light on the negative impact of anti-LGBTQ+ activity on the housing market. Over the past several years, there has been a surge in anti-LGBTQ+ bills introduced in state houses across the country. 

The Center for American Progress reports that such bills have a moderate to significant effect on the mental health and sense of safety of 51% of LGBTQ+ adults. That percentage increases to 81% for transgender individuals in particular.

Housing discrimination also remains a pressing issue for the LGBTQ+ community, according to the survey results, with 29% of LGBTQ+ individuals indicating that they have faced housing discrimination or harassment in the past year. 

In addition, recent ​​National Fair Housing Alliance statistics show that sex-based housing discrimination complaints, which include those targeting individuals based on gender identity and sexual orientation, accounts for 7.4% of all cases in the past year, making it the third most frequent form of housing discrimination reported.

Furthermore, about 21% of respondents say they believe that discrimination against LGBTQ+ potential homebuyers has intensified over the past three years, up compared to 17.9% a year ago. 

Conversely, only 12.7% of members perceive a decrease in discrimination, down from 25.9% in the previous year.

Interestingly, real estate agents are no longer seen as the primary perpetrators of discrimination in the real estate market, according to LGBTQ+ Real Estate Alliance survey. Results from this year’s survey show that 19.8% of members attribute discrimination to agents, down from 20.7% in the previous year. 

In regard to discrimination, 20.3% of members identify legal forms that fail to adequately represent the life experiences of potential homebuyers as the most discriminatory, while discriminatory sellers follow closely behind at 20.1%.

“The report uses 30 different sources, along with our annual member survey, to gain insight into the journey to homeownership for the LGBTQ+ community beginning when they first strike out on their own,” Weyandt said. “We now have data that shows why urban centers are attractive to the LGBTQ+ community as most rent there at the start of their professional lives. We also have a greater awareness of what drives community members to purchase homes, including the impact of same-sex marriage and children. Unfortunately, the gains our growing LGBTQ+ population has made are suffering today as a minority in our nation, including elected officials, are attacking us with greater frequency.”

The LGBTQ+ Real Estate Alliance, established as a 501(c)6 non-profit organization in June 2020, aims to empower the LGBTQ+ community on their journey to homeownership while advocating for their housing rights. With over 2,600 members and numerous chapters across North America, the Alliance strives to enhance the professional lives of its members through the public-facing Alliance Referral Community. 

The Alliance was awarded the prestigious title of 2022 Inman News Innovator of the Year in the MLS, Association, or Industry Organization category. Their website,, offers valuable resources on home buying and selling, while connecting the LGBTQ+ community with Alliance members for their real estate needs.

This content was generated using AI, and was edited and fact-checked by RealTrends’ editors.

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