Gay Marriage Ruling Will Effect Local Real Estate Markets
On Friday, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor (5-4 decision) of legalizing same-sex marriage throughout the United States. Lesbians, gays, bisexuals, and the transgender (LGBT) community will now be able to hold title for their home as tenancy by the entirety.
President Barack Obama referred to the ruling as a ‘victory for america.’ Obama goes on to say that in the heart of Americans we all are equals, and we should all be free.
In recent years the bill has received a great deal of momentum, especially as certain states began to allow the legalization of same-sex marriage. In 2004 Massachusetts became the first state to allow legalized gay marriage and now 11 years later it’s legal country wide.
“Without the recognition, stability and predictability marriage offers, their children suffer the stigma of knowing their families are somehow lesser.” says Justice Anthony Kennedy. “No longer may this liberty be denied. No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice and family. In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than once they were.”
Justice Kennedy was appointed in 1988 by President Ronald Regan and has authored four major gay rights rulings.
Justice Scalia wrote of Kennedy’s work saying “The opinion is couched in a style that is as pretentious as its content is egotistic. Of course the opinion’s showy profundities are often profoundly incoherent.”
It was an emotional day for everyone.
Outside the Supreme Court, there were hundreds of people waving rainbow flags, holding signs, and cheering to show their support for the decision. Many exchanged hugs, kisses, and tears of joy in celebration. “Love has won” the crowd cheered.
In this article we will discuss what type of effect the Supreme Court’s decision will have on the housing market.
How Gay Marriage Ruling Impacts the Housing Market:
Sherry Chris, CEO of Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate, said in a statement after the ruling “As with other momentous social landmarks, this progress will trigger key milestones along the path to homeownership.” Sherry goes on to say that the LGBT community is “a powerful market segment that represents an estimated buying power of $840 billion.”
With that much buying power, and the social milestone of marriage now obtainable there is enough momentum to move the needle with significance. In our local Raleigh market, when husband and wife take title they are forced to hold that title as tenancy by the entirety. Same sex couples would not be able to do so since they are not legally married, this is not the case anymore. Same sex couples can now buy a home and take title as tenancy by the entirety.
“There is no more awkwardness - no more ‘joint tenants’ or however gay people have had to take title in order to own,” noted Summer Greene, the GM of Better Homes and Gardens in Fourt Lauderdale, FL.
Now that gay marriage is legal country wide, there is no more discriminating where the LGBT community must live in order to be wed. Before, same-sex couples who wanted to be married needed to live in a certain area, this is not the case any more though, and it’s opened up a wide range of options for the LGBT community to relocate should they wish.
Here in Raleigh, North Carolina there is a large LGBT community. Other economic factors will come in to play, such as rental prices increasing in the area. We are currently in a strong sellers’ market which will only grow stronger as the pool of buyers grows.
Home Sellers Now Have Larger Pool of Buyers
These changes will create a larger pool of buyers as new social milestones are reached in the LGBT community.
A recent survey conducted by Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate and the National Association of Gay and Lesbian Real Estate Professionals shows that 80% of LGBT respondents felt that marriage equality ruling will give them more financial confidence. The LGBT community who rent have similar concerns about homeownership as anyone would, which has kept a high percentage from homeownership.
The financial/mental confidence, as well as the bond and stability that comes with marriage should help push more of the LGBT community into homeownership. A couple other potential motivating factors would be starting a family and a concern of rising rents. Many LGBT couples are contemplating whether or not it makes more sense to rent or to buy.
A couple of surveys showed that 54% of LGBT respondents owned homes, when compared to the national average that’s about 10% less than the national homeownership rate - which is at it’s lowest point since 1993.
For a generation that many have deemed the generation of renters, it certainly improves the number of buyers and the amount of people confident in purchasing a home. With the fidelity of marriage comes a higher confidence in homeownership and stability to raise a family.These are motivating factors for anyone to want to purchase a home.
While the ruling allows for the marriage of the same-sex, it doesn’t mean the LGBT community is free from housing discrimination. People will always ask themselves if they should buy or if they should rent, and it’s a tough question to answer at times. Homeownership isn’t for everyone.
The American Dream has always been to own a home and land, and it will continue to be. With the legalization of same-sex marriage the percentage of homeownership should go up, especially now that it’s at its lowest point since 1993.
Not only does the ruling impact the real estate market it also impacts estate planning. Things that are normally left to one’s spouse will go to the surviving spouse in this case. Estate planning will also have a large impact on the new supreme court ruling.
Raleigh Real Estate is currently a strong sellers’ market and with the new ruling we envision that will only become stronger. The amount of people looking to own a home will grow, and with the large LGBT community here in the Raleigh area the number of buyers will grow. New construction homes here in the area are being built everywhere, not fast enough for the demand though.
With changes in the economy comes an impact in any industry, and real estate is no different. The socioeconomic changes in the legalization of gay marriage will make for a larger number of buyers preparing to enter the market. With an estimated $840 billion in purchasing power, it should move the percentage of homeownership up from it’s historically low levels.
Hi there! I'm Ryan Fitzgerald, a REALTOR in Raleigh-Durham, NC and the owner of Raleigh Realty. Chances are you and I share a similar passion, Real Estate! I also have a passion for technology, sports, and people. Would love to hear from you. Drop me a note in the comments section below and feel free to share this article socially!