To celebrate Pride Month, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) dug into four years of data from their Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers to unearth similarities and differences between lesbian, gay, bisexual, and heterosexual Americans.
“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,” said NAR President John Smaby, a second-generation Realtor® from Edina, Minnesota and broker at Edina Realty.
Smaby added, “Realtors® have always embraced the significance of the protections secured by the Fair Housing Act, and have encouraged efforts to extend them by amending our Code of Ethics in 2009 to prohibit discriminations based on sexual orientation and gender identity.”
For the purposes of this report, it appears NAR has broken the data down into three categories to observe: Heterosexual, Bisexual, and Gay/Lesbian buyers are combined into a third group.
The segment of the population most likely to indicate they’re first time homebuyers is bisexuals (at 58%), followed by gay and lesbian buyers (36%), and heterosexuals (32%).
The most likely to be a first-time home seller was bisexuals (50%), while lesbians, gays, and heterosexuals equally indicated it was their first time (36%) being a home seller.
Bisexuals were observed to be the youngest buyers, a median age of 36 years old, and had the lowest median income of $62,400. In comparison, lesbian and gay buyers were the oldest buyers at 45 years old. Heterosexual buyers reported a median age of 44 and a median income of $91,200, similar to $92,900 for lesbian and gay buyers.
Regarding each group’s preferences:
- Homes purchased by bisexual buyers are a median of 1,840sf, with a median year built of 1966.
- Gay and lesbian buyers purchased homes with a median of 1,900sf, and a median year built of 1974.
- Heterosexual buyers’ median home size is 2,060 median sf, and 1985 is the median year.
- Bisexual buyers were the most likely to purchase a detached single-family home (86%).
- Gay and lesbian buyers were the least likely (79%), and only 10% purchased a multi-generational home.
- Heterosexual buyers were the most likely to purchase a multi-generational home (13%).
- Lesbian and gay buyers were most likely to purchase in an urban area or a city center (28%).
- Bisexual buyers were most likely to buy a home in a small town (22%).
- All sexual orientations were equally likely to purchase in a resort or recreation area (2%).
- Bisexual buyers were most likely to have made at least one compromise in their home purchase, most likely on the price (28%), style of home (23%) or distance from their jobs (23%).
- Lesbian and gay buyers were the least likely to have compromised on convenience to schools (7%).
- Bisexual home buyers were less likely to identify as white/Caucasian than lesbian/gay or heterosexual buyers (77%, compared to 88% and 85%, respectively).
- Bisexuals are nearly twice as likely to identify as Hispanic than both groups (13% compared to 7%).
- Fully 14% of bisexual buyers were born outside of the U.S., versus 7% of lesbian and gay buyers.
- 38% of bisexual home buyers identify as single females.
- 25% of gay buyers identify as single men.
- 22% of lesbian and gay buyers identify as an unmarried couple (38% as a married couple).
- 15% of bisexual buyers identify as an unmarried couple (34% as a married couple).
- 7% of heterosexuals identify as an unmarried couple (66% as a married couple).
- 38% of heterosexual buyers have children in their household.
- 29% of bisexual buyers have children in their household.
- 11% of lesbian and gay buyers have children in their household.
Regarding other demographic info:
“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 home buyers 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.”
Editor’s note: For the purpose of citing this study and for logistics, we used NAR’s terminology, making an exception to our internal policy to only use the acronym “LGBTQIA+” in all stories.