Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Home Buyers and Sellers

Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Homebuyers Recognized In New Report

By Tanya Svoboda

The National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) has published a profile of Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Home Buyers and Sellers for the first time in it’s history. NAR added a question about sexual orientation to it’s annual Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers study in 2015 in preparation for the report – waiting until they had four years of data before publishing.

“The number of home buyers and sellers who identify as lesbian, gay or bisexual has remained steady at 4% since we first included the question in our HBS survey in 2015,” said Dr. Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist. “Given that Millennials now make up 37% of homebuyers and attitudes regarding sexual orientation continue to shift even among Generation Z, we expect to see this percentage increase in future surveys as younger generations are more likely to self-identify as LGB.”

So why was it important for NAR to distinguish what the buying habits and preferences of LGB homeowners were? The most obvious reason is of course to help REALTORS® better serve their clients by helping them understand the market they are working with. NAR will include questions regarding the transgender market in a future study.

But we also have to look at the significance of large-scale organization like NAR publicly recognizing the importance of LGB homebuyers at a time when it is still legal to deny housing on the basis of sexual orientation in 28 states in America. (A statistic that NAR hopes will soon be outdated.)

NAR President John Smaby states, “The American Dream of homeownership traverses across the spectrum of our society – including sexual orientation – and Realtors® always have and will continue to advocate so that anyone who wants to, and is capable of purchasing a home, is able to do so.”

While the dream of homeownership is universal, the report did find that there were differences between LGB and heterosexual homebuyers and sellers – as well as significant differences for those who identified as bisexual. The full report is publicly available, and a few of the findings are highlighted below:

  • Bisexual home buyers were the most likely to indicate they were first-time homebuyers (58%), followed by lesbian and gay buyers (36%) and heterosexuals (32%).
  • More than one-third of bisexual buyers identified as single females (38%), while a quarter of lesbian and gay buyers identified as single men (25%).
  • While heterosexual buyers were the most likely to have children in their households (38%), bisexual buyers were nearly three times as likely to have children in their households compared to lesbian and gay buyers (29% to 11%).
  • Bisexual buyers purchased the smallest and oldest homes, with a median square footage of 1,840 square feet and median year built of 1966. Lesbian and gay buyers followed with a median square footage of 1,900 and a median year built of 1974, while heterosexual buyers purchased the largest and newest homes (2,060 median square feet, 1985 median year).

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