Zillow has recently produced a report which says that house buyers can expect to pay a premium for living in areas with a large LGBT community. The costs of buying a home in these areas have risen sharply and are now around 4 times higher than similar properties in other areas.
The American Community Survey defines a 'gayborhood' as an area where there is a high share of same-sex couples living in the area. The areas most affected by this house price phenomenon are Riverside County (CA), Cleveland and Philadelphia.
In Cleveland, the Riverside neighborhood shows an average house price of $221,000 which is 293.9% higher than the rest of the metro area. In the same area, 3.1% of all households are same-sex. In Philadelphia, a similar pattern has emerged with house prices in Lombard and South Station seeing rises in prices that mean homes in these areas cost 241.9% higher than in other parts of the city.
West Palm Springs (CA) has an LGBT community that makes up around 9.1% of the local population; house prices have increased in response. The average cost of a home there is now 244% higher than in the rest of Riverside County.
In New York City you can expect to pay 116.9% more for a property if you buy between Manhattan's Upper West Side and West Village.
The largest concentration of LGBT people is in the North Banker’s Hill area of San Diego. With the rate of same-sex households reaching 10% the area has also seen property prices rise. Here you can expect to pay 25% more for a property compared to other areas, with the average house price coming in at $792,400.
There could be many factors at play: Economically same-sex couples often have more disposable income as they tend to have fewer children than their heterosexual counterparts.
The areas often attract new, innovative, tech-based businesses and lend themselves well to gentrification. They are often seen as more relaxed, open-minded and accepting places to live.
However, there are negative effects on the phenomenon: The ability to live in these areas is impacted by many factors including income making them inaccessible for those who face other problems when it comes to maximizing their earning potential. This includes women, people of color and trans-gendered individuals.
It is not the first time the US housing market has experienced a similar trend. Back in 2012 after the crash there was a large premium to pay if you wanted a property in an LGBT neighborhood – on average properties were 29% more expensive and by 2017 this reached 37%, far above the recovered enjoyed by similar non-LGBT areas.
On the other hand places like Kansas City, San Antonia (TX) and Missouri seem to be bucking the trend with homes in the LGBT areas around 36% cheaper than in similar properties in other neighborhoods.