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Gay Neighbors Boost Property Values

Gay Neighbors Boost Property Values

An academic study of how Ohio neighborhoods voted on a 2004 Gay Marriage Amendment has linked the result to house prices.

Gentrification by gay people has previously been studied as a boon to property values. This study of home values in and around Columbus, Ohio concluded that an increase in the number of same-sex couples by one in 1,000 households is associated with a 1.1 percent price premium in enclaves that backed gay marriage. The same influx in areas that didn’t support same-sex marriage was linked to a 1 percent discount.

It compared average home prices in neighborhoods after controlling for a number factors, including distance to the central business district, income, graduate degrees, school quality, crime rate and house size.

Author Susane Leguizamon of Tulane University in New Orleans told Bloomberg:

“The perception that there is prejudice against gay and lesbians by conservative groups is strong enough to be picked up in market prices.”

How does this work? In a 2010 study by Richard Florida, director of the Martin Prosperity Institute at the University of Toronto, and Charlotta Mellander of Jonkoping International Business School in Jonkoping, Sweden found that it is an enhancement to cultural amenities and housing stock and an increase in the vibrancy of neighborhoods which an influx of gay couples brings — an ‘aesthetic amenity premium’ and a ‘tolerance or open culture premium,’ according to that study.

“This tolerance or open culture premium acts on the demand side by making local resources more productive and efficient operating through four key mechanisms. First, locations of bohemian and gay populations reflect low barriers to entry for human capital .. Second, larger bohemian and gay populations signal underlying mechanisms that increase the efficiency of knowledge spillovers and human capital externalities [a] primary engine of economic growth .. Third, artistic and gay populations reflect regional values that are open-minded, meritocratic, tolerant of risk, and oriented to self-expression.”

The 2010 census showed a 40% jump in the numbers of same-sex households, with significant increases in perhaps surprising places like Salt Lake City and St. Louis.

“Much of the increase is due to an increased willingness to report as opposed to Utah suddenly getting a surge of same-sex couples willing to move there, or that suddenly the [lesbian, gay and bisexual] population coupled at an increased rate,” Gary Gates, a demographer at the University of California-Los Angeles Williams Institute told the Salt Lake Tribune. Gates has noticed similar surges in other conservative states, including Arizona (70 percent), Montana (88 percent) and Oklahoma (70 percent).

The District of Columbia had the highest percentage of same-sex households according to the census, followed by Vermont, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New York, Connecticut, Maryland and California.


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2:40AM PST on Nov 24, 2011

More reason to have gay marriage legalized!

3:27PM PST on Nov 14, 2011

It's true. From my experience, they take pride of ownership in their homes and neighborhoods and have a real sense of community and community involvement.

2:43PM PST on Nov 14, 2011

Some of you may wonder why people who wish that Christianity was gay friendly stand behind a God who isn't. I think a big part of Christianity is acceptance at face value. God always loves people at face value even if He doesn't like what they do. Sure we disagree with the religion sometimes but we take it at face value too. It isn't something we pull out of our head. I'd pull a more humane religion out my ass but I am just a mere screwed up mortal.

2:38PM PST on Nov 14, 2011

Wondering if kids lower property values, that is what is not being said. Wonder if gays are disproportionately childless (at least males?). I figured that men and women have different priorities on kids. Men might want kids, but women almost always do (90%). A Catholic I was dating told me harshly, 90% of women want them, [so get on board bucko]

1:08PM PST on Nov 14, 2011

My gay friends homes are the best in their neighbohoods insides and outsides. I would relish having them as neighbors but they all tend to live in a higher tax bracket than me. I tend my yard but for some reason theirs always look artsier and more pulled together. Go figure.

11:52AM PST on Nov 14, 2011

Before buying my previous home in Charlotte, NC, I decided to meet some of the neighbors to assess the friendliness, safety, etc of the neighborhood. One neighbor, a woman in her 70s, mentioned that there were a lot of gays in the neighborhood. I thought "Uh-oh, here it comes," until she continued, "and we think that's a good thing, because those neighbors take good care of their houses and lawns." I'm not gay myself, but it made me feel more comfortable moving to the neighborhood--and probably made me more conscious regarding my own housekeeping and yard work!

8:49AM PST on Nov 14, 2011

I'd never considered this, so thanks for posting.

8:30AM PST on Nov 14, 2011


7:43AM PST on Nov 14, 2011

~I wasn't aware of gay/lesbian's making such an impact on the housing market~

12:22AM PST on Nov 14, 2011

Thank you for sharing

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