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The Interesting Influence Same-Sex Couples Have on Home Values (& How It Impacts Investors)

Erin Spradlin
2 min read
The Interesting Influence Same-Sex Couples Have on Home Values (& How It Impacts Investors)

Denver is getting ready for the 3rd largest Pride festival (and 7th largest parade) [1] in the United States this month. Over the celebratory weekend, we welcome 385,000-plus participants. [2]

As someone that has lived in the city since 2000, I can report that the parade is a major point of *pride* for the entire community. It’s big, it’s fun, and there are a ton of great parties. The city just seems happy about celebrating love and/or happy about the economic benefits of love ($25 million).

Before I get into elaborating more on that last point though, I’d just like to point out that there’s a pretty clear trend regarding where people want to live and progressive attitudes, which is why people on this site don’t talk about Alabama much.

Do Gay Populations Boost Housing Prices?

The idea has existed for quite some time that when gay people (and more specifically, gay men) seek out a neighborhood, the real estate prices increase. A study by Duke posits this happens for two reasons.

First, the gay community increases the aesthetic of a neighborhood. Second, their tolerance and open culture leads to the promotion of ideas and entrepreneurship, which turns into higher incomes which turns into increased housing prices (familiar with San Francisco?). [3]

A third point, oddly not mentioned in the study but definitely relevant, is that the demographic for a long time was prevented from having children (either via science or adoption) and so they had more expendable income.  

Related: Lead Generation—What Makes you Different Can Make You Rich

young female hands with LGBT rainbow ribbon wristbands holding craft wooden house

Sometimes Yes, Sometimes No

So, is this urban legend true? When the gay community shows up, do the housing prices increase? The answer is it depends.

According to the Harvard Business Review, if you are in a liberal leaning community, the housing prices increase on average 1 percent for every same sex couple per 1,000 households in a new neighborhood. Butttttttt… in traditionally conservative areas, it results in a 1 percent drop in housing prices. [4]

(A timeframe here would have been useful. Without one, we’re left wondering: does the continuing influx of the gay population increase housing prices over time despite the initial drop? If so, how much time?)

Related: Most Expensive U.S. Markets Have Appreciated 2x as Fast as Least Expensive in Past 30 Years

What’s the practical application for this information? For investments, you might want to look for cities that are emerging as destinations for the LGBTQ community. For instance, on TripSavvy, Indianapolis, Detroit, and Fort Worth are all listed as a good place to visit as a gay traveler. [5]

Find communities that are fairly new to launching pride parades but having a great turn out, like Columbus, Indiana—Mike’s Pence’s hometown. [6] Seek out states that offer full protections for the LBGTQ community, and find the cities within that state that haven’t totally embraced it yet but are leaning that way. [7]

Takeaway? Diversity is not only the right thing to do, but it’s also the financially smart thing to do.


1 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PrideFest_(Denver)

2 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PrideFest_(Denver)

3 https://sites.duke.edu/urbaneconomics/?p=1054

4 https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2012/07/your-gay-neighbors-really-are-raising-your-real-estate-values/260437/

5 https://www.tripsavvy.com/underrated-in-america-for-gay-travelers-1417711

6 https://www.thrillist.com/travel/nation/new-pride-parades-events

7 https://www.freedomforallamericans.org/states/

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Note By BiggerPockets: These are opinions written by the author and do not necessarily represent the opinions of BiggerPockets.