A new study conducted by housing economist Ralph McLaughlin revealed that neighborhoods with more married same-sex couples as residents appreciate in value faster than others.
While this trend has been previously observed, McLaughlin studied prices of homes and how they appreciated from 2012 to 2015 in areas with the highest concentrations of married same-sex couples. He found that home prices increased by 23 percent in neighborhoods with male same-sex couples and 18 percent for neighborhoods with female same-sex couples, Fortune.com reported.
Richard Florida and Gary Gates conducted a study in 2001 that showed that cities with the highest concentrations of LGBTs also were highly technologically progressive and innovative cities. McLaughlin counters Florida and Gates, saying that it’s not the city culture that made neighborhoods with more same-sex couples expensive — it’s the actual same-sex couples that drive up the neighborhood’s value.
McLaughlin discovered that what many call the “gayborhood effect” has much more to do with just same-sex couples living in that city, but the dynamics and daily actions of those couples also.
“As it turns out, home prices in almost all of the gayborhoods that we look at in this study are more expensive than their metros as a whole,” McLaughlin wrote in his news analysis. “For example, homes in the Castro neighborhood of San Francisco cost $948 per square foot – which is 34% more expensive than the San Francisco metro area ($705 per square foot), while places like West Hollywood, CA and Provincetown, MA are 123% and 119% more expensive, respectively. The only gayborhood that isn’t more expensive than its respective metro is Guerneville, north of San Francisco, CA, which is only 2% cheaper per square foot than its metro area.”
McLaughlin reported June 10 on Trulia, which he writes for their “Trends” section, that neighborhoods with more female same-sex couples appreciate faster than neighborhoods with male same-sex couples. “Gayborhoods” are doing well and still growing due partially to the fact that home prices in these areas were higher than average before the housing crash, so these homes weren’t hit as hard.