Four years ago, the National Association of Realtors® began collecting data in order to provide their first-ever profile of lesbian, gay, and bisexual homebuyers and sellers. The findings from the research reveal differences and similarities amongst real estate consumers of differing sexual orientations. NAR began collecting this data for its annual Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers using a mail-in survey. Those who identified as lesbian, gay, or bisexual accounted for 4% of all home sales each year – about one out of every 20 sales.
The Future of LGBTQ Homebuyer Studies
The NAR finding closely resembles a 2018 Gallup estimate that suggests the proportion of U.S. adults who identify as lesbian, gay, or bisexual has increased steadily from 3.5% to 4.5% from 2012-2017, representing 11 million U.S. adults.
“The number of home buyers and sellers who identify as LGB has remained steady at 4% since we first included the question in our Homebuyer and Seller Survey in 2015,” said Dr. Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist. “Given that Millennials now make up 37% of home buyers and attitudes regarding sexual orientation continue to shift amongst Generation Z, we expect to see this percentage increase in future surveys.” NAR said “transgender” was not included as a response option in the study because it reflects gender identity rather than sexual orientation. A separate question on gender identity, including non-binary identification, will be included in future studies.
LGB Buyers and Sellers Statistics
Though the share of home sales to LGB buyers may not yet be dramatic, other findings are. NAR’s study also found market statistics based on those a part of the lesbian, gay, and bisexual community.
While buyers who identify as lesbian or gay have a median age of 45 years old, bisexual homebuyers have an average of just 36 years old. In addition to their average age, lesbian and gay homebuyers have a median income of $92,900 yearly while bisexual homebuyers have a lower annual income average of $62,400.
However, LGB buyers and sellers are half as likely to be married couples, when compared to heterosexual couples, and report as one-person households more often.
The study also found that:
- Bisexual homebuyers are twice as likely to be first-time buyers and sellers when compared to lesbian and gay homebuyers.
- Lesbian homebuyers tend to purchase smaller and less expensive homes.
- Lesbian and gay homebuyers prefer urban living, bisexual buyers are more likely to end up in rural towns, and heterosexual buyers frequently stay in suburban areas.
- Bisexual homebuyers are the most likely to use non-conventional financing and make at least one compromise when closing on a home.
NAR also publishes profiles of its total membership and real estate firms, its commercial membership, international activity in residential real estate, and aspiring home buyers.