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LGBT homeownership faces major problems

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LGBT homeownership

LGBT homeownership faces major problems

Many of us in the LGBT community dream of having our own homes. Unfortunately, indications show that LGBT homeownership still face a lot of obstacles.

In a study done by Freddie Mac in collaboration with Community Marketing and Insights, it was reported that the LGBT community’s homeownership is lower than the current national rate as we’re less likely to own a home.

What’s more, we’re more mobile, fear discrimination when we buy a home, or we prioritize living in an LGBT-safe neighborhood.

LGBT homeownership: A survey of the community

The survey conducted by Freddie Mac found out that 48 percent of LGBT households are likely to own a home. This is below the 64.3 percent rate for the general population.

Breaking this down, gay men and lesbians were most likely to own a home with 52 percent, LGBT African-Americans had 30 percent, while LGBT millennials were the least likely group with 23 percent.

“We fielded this survey to get a better understanding of the current challenges facing the LGBT community, as well as their current housing choices, preferences, experiences, and aspirations,” said Danny Gardner, senior vice president of affordable lending and access to credit at Freddie Mac.

“What we found was that several factors– including increased mobility, lower marriage and a tendency to live in high-cost urban areas, and fears of discrimination– may be contributing to these lower homeownership rates,” Gardner said.

With regard to increased mobility, those of the LGBT community had a tendency to relocate more frequently with 67 percent saying they didn’t live in the same area where they grew up, which is higher than the general population.

LGBT homeownership: Fear of discrimination

The survey also noted that 46 percent of renters fear discrimination when they’re undergoing the home-buying process.

We also prefer to look for an LGBT-friendly neighborhood, which ranked behind home price and safety.

There’s also the issue of affordability and the complexities of down payment-related costs. Out of 10 LGBT renters, seven said that saving for a down payment is an issue.

“Unfortunately, the rising cost of renting and buying, combined with misunderstandings about down payments, are slowing homeownership rates among the LGBT community even further,” Gardner said.

“That is why as an industry– lenders, appraisers, agents, home builders and Freddie Mac– must understand LGBT housing needs, recognize their challenges and educate them on the buying process,” he added.

LGBT homeownership: Still a dream we want

However, like most people, we do want to own our own home. The survey noted that three quarters of LGBT renters say owning a home is a good financial investment.

Likewise, 72 percent of renters say they want to own a home in the future.

John Graff, broker and CEO of Ashby & Graff Real Estate, and policy committee chair with the National Association of Gay & Lesbian Real Estate Professionals (NAGLREP), said: “On the one hand, people in the community– especially gay men– tend to do well in real estate when they work with reputed agencies like Premier Properties Fort Lauderdale because of the dual income and the traditional lack of children.”

“But there are institutional obstacles that prevent members of the community from buying,” Graff said. “When you look at transgender individuals, for example, the opportunities are not replicated at the same level as for white heterosexual people in this country.”

“It’s difficult for us to emphasize buying power and mention and highlight the obstacles that exist in the community at the same time,” he added.

Jeff Berger, founder of NAGLREP, said: “Our own LGBT Real Estate Report found that while LGBTs tend to live in markets where home prices are high, the real estate industry should be working to provide more targeted education to the LGBT community about the buying and mortgage process.”

The survey polled 2,313 LGBT community members in the US, with ages ranging from 22 to 72 years old.

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