One stereotype that has gained popularity over the years is that LGBT homeowners, especially gay men, have picture-perfect homes. This is supported by the fact that many LGBT neighborhoods have become very nice. The process of gentrification that occurs in these areas drives up home values, making the houses there worth much more than they once were. The question, though, is whether or not this stereotype is actually true. Does having LGBT neighbors mean you can expect your property value to increase?
Yes, in Some Areas
According to a report summarized in the Harvard Business Review, gay couples do actually improve home values. The study was conducted by Susane Leguizamon from Tulane University and by David Cirstafore of Konkuk University, which is located in South Korea. The two looked at over 20,000 purchases and sales of neighborhoods in Ohio. The conclusion was that in areas that are socially liberal, adding one same-sex household for every 1,000 did lead to a one percent increase in the value of the homes in that neighborhood. In areas that are predominately LGBT, that can quickly lead to a fairly high increase in property values.
This can often be seen in modern gay neighborhoods that didn’t exist 20 years ago. When these areas became predominately filled with same-sex couples, they tend to increase in value. That’s because these couples often do not have children, which provides them with additional income. Until recently, many were also not married, which allowed them to claim some additional deductions on their income tax by filing separately. The end result was individuals with more disposable income, allowing them to put more work into their homes.
On the Other Hand, it’s Not Always the Case
However, Cristafore and Leguizamon discovered something else in their study. In areas that are more socially conservative, housing prices could actually drop when same-sex neighbors moved in. This is because those who don’t necessarily support LGBT rights may actually sell their homes and move away from their gay neighbors. Others may go so far as to vandalize homes owned by same-sex couples. The end result is that housing prices tend to actually decrease.
In the end, gentrification does have a correlation to LGBT homeowners, but same-sex couples moving into a neighborhood are not the only reason property values may increase. There are a number of other factors that can play just as important a part. Also, not all same-sex couples do as much upgrading to maintenance to their homes.