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March 17, 2008

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Phil

The three same-sex couples I know personally have seven kids between them.

bobvis

gays are good for house prices...
same-sex couples living in an area raises median house prices

Is it more accurate to say gays are bad for house prices? Which way do we want housing prices to go in general?

(* Yes, I am trying to be contrary.)

ad

Not to be cynical, but if you look at enough variables, you are bound to find a correlation eventually.

dearieme

People are impressed by the prettier curtains?

Mr. Jolly

bobvis - Exactly. Around here, the average price for a two bedroom terraced house is approximately ten times the average wage for the area. So that means that a young couple, of whatever orientation has literally no way of buying their own home. Now, we can argue until the cows come home on whether having gay couples living in an area 'improves' it, but what cannot be denied is that to further inflate already historically high house prices is a bad thing.

Matt Munro

I live in a gentrifying area of Bristol and I knew that said gentrification had spread to my street when a gay couple moved in over the road. I'm not sure that gays improve areas, rather that they move to improving and trendy areas, maybe perceiving them to be more accomodating of alternative lifestyles.
Could also be that gay couple have higher joint incomes than their heterosexual counterparts and are more likely to be able to afford trendy postcodes.

gaddeswarup

Richard Florida sees some correlation. From
http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/features/2001/0205.florida.html
"When we compared these two lists with more statistical rigor, his Gay Index turned out to correlate very strongly to my own measures of high-tech growth."
But Justinian felt that gays caused earthquakes; view echoed recently in the Israeli parliment.

Scott Hughes

The moral of the story is gays are good if you are getting ready to sell, but gays are bad if you are getting ready to buy. Bringing gays to the neighborhood before you sell your house is like getting a carwash before you sell your car.

No, I'm just kidding. But it is an interesting statistic.

chris

I totally agree with this article...My neighbor Ernesto and his partner have been nothing but a joy to have since they moved in 3 years ago. They are constantly improving their house by gardening and great general upkeep. They have truly been an asset to Waldorf, MD. Not to mention they have the best little dinner parties i've ever been to.

RW

Mr. Jolly, please be a jolly old dear and drop that phrase "alternative lifestyle" from your vocabulary. These days it doesnt' mean gay or queer; it means "I am bi-, tri-, and/or ambi-sexual, I like bondage and whippings, and I hide it from the neighbors and maybe even my spouse."

That's hardly an accurate description of your average gay couple! Their agenda, the one every gay signs when he joins, is usually along the lines of (1) wash dishes (2) mow lawn (3) take dog or cat to vet (4) get car tuned up (5) go to work (6) be treated equally. Color coordinating the entire house is, I assure you, way down the list, and pink feather boas and tight black leather clothing even further down.

Sex? Did you mention sex? Well, I don't concern myself with *my* neighbors' sex lives, so don't you concern yourself with yours, okay? Being queer isn't catching, I assure you.

Thank you, Mr. Jolly. Be a jolly man and relax: you'll have a lot more fun that way. Besides, gays tend to be good cooks, and if you think nicely about them, they might invite you for dinner more often.

Drake

This has been very apparent in the Chicago-land area, especially within the city limits. Lakeview, which is a neighborhood well known for attracting gays has become one of the safest areas in the city, and housing prices have risen because of the investment of the gay community.

JP

Correlation does not equal causation. Isn't that basic Economics?

Seth

Scott Hughes
LOL! you live in waldorf. ANYTHING with a brain would improve that hole in the ground.

Todd Jolley

Another Jolley fellow here from the Midwest, USA. columbus OH specifically.

Columbus is a very gay-friendly city (3rd largest per capita population of gays in the US behind San Francisco and Atlanta).

The "has more disposable income" is basically a myth as many gay people end up in lower-paying jobs and careers.

My observation is that gays end up buying homes, many abandoned, or on the verge of being uninhabitable and fixing them up, as they can't afford nicer places.

check out the documentary Flag Wars on PBS: http://www.pbs.org/pov/pov2003/flagwars/

This is about an area in Columbus called "Old Towne East" (OTE for short). It was a beautiful area of Victorian Style homes that was a very posh area. Over time, it declined and became run down. It is crime ridden, drug ridden, postituion infested neighborhood. As a result, the prices for the homes were depressed to a point were many gay singles and couples could afford them. They have been purchasing them and slowly restoring them to thier former glory. In the process, they have been cleaning up the neighborhood

As a result, this is attracting more gay couples (some of higher income levels to be sure), and they are improving the neighborhood, and home prices are rising, driving some poorer folks away (mainly the problem-causing people). So yes, this is great for the city and the neighborhood.

Crime is down, drug use is down, prostituion is down, robberies are down, and historical homes are being restored.

Handygirl

It's less an issue of gays buying into posh neighborhoods than gays buying into once-posh-now-downtrodden neighborhoods and putting their time and money into refreshing the neighborhood. The trend here in the Tampa Bay area is: Gay couple/s move in and start fixing up homes, more gays move in and do same, nice looking Gay Ghetto is established, families with kids start buying in because the neighborhood is so nice, gays slowly move on to the next up-and-coming neighborhood taking their house profits with them, rinse and repeat. I can name four different neighborhoods where this has happened in the last 20 years. There are probably more. And all of them are now very pricey, very desirable neighborhoods despite the real estate downturn.

My dad was a realtor. He knew what all realtors know. Follow the gays if you want to know the next hot property area.

JayArr

I've lived in Miami my entire life. I grew up here in the 80s, when South Beach had turned into a really scummy, cheap low rent place to live. Half of it was crime ridden and the other half was owned by retired folks who couldn't afford to move elsewhere. In the late 80s and early 90s the gay community started moving in, and they really DID change the neighborhood.

I don't know why. It probably does have to do with them having less kids and more disposable income. They appreciated the historic significance of the area's Art Deco buildings, they bought cheap, and now, since the late 90s, South Beach is booming.

The gay community here in South Florida has also proven beneficial in parts of Ft. Lauderdale, North Miami, and the new Midtown.

Player-X

"So they want their fellow man to come together?" - twobux

On a more serious note it would seem that the effects of gay people on home prices might be what is helping mitigate the effects of the housing bubble burst.

Ken

I am gay, so I have some inside information.

In this metropolitan area, gay male couples who otherwise could not afford real estate often buy a house in a depressed, burned-out, or undesirable neighborhood and use their own sweat equity to improve it with the intent of reselling it. I've known couples that have spent upwards of five years renovating their houses before they sold it. After the gay couple renovates the house, they sell it to heterosexuals, who are now willing to live in the improved neighborhood. Heterosexuals, for practical reasons, prefer to buy houses that are finished and require no work. The gay couple uses the profit from the sale to start over on a new dilapidated house.

I know it not just from watching friends, I've done myself it twice. In my case, the profit went toward caring for elderly relatives and keeping the extended family together. (It's not uncommon for the gay couple to end up caring for elderly relatives.)

Gay couples do tend to raise house prices, and sometimes spark gentrification, but many times they just make an undesirable neighborhood family-friendly. Then sometimes ironically their new neighbors turn against their benefactors just because they are gay.

Dan

They lower property taxes because they vote school taxes down, and that appeals to buyers who are looking at property taxes.

Ken

I am very much in favor of paying school taxes, and I'm even for raising them. I don't have and never will have children, but I'm not shortsighted. Those children are the going to be the adults who will take care of me in the nursing home when I'm old. I want them to be as well educated as possible.

Brian Miller

Could also be that gay couple have higher joint incomes than their heterosexual counterparts and are more likely to be able to afford trendy postcodes.

This claim is often made but never justified.

Every study conducted focusing on the issue tends to show that a gay male couple makes less, on average, than a heterosexual two-income couple.

The idea of "higher disposable income" is a myth. A popular myth, but a myth nonetheless.

Aaron

I remember that Will & Grace episode. Jack bought a house in the right city but the wrong state and all the neighbors were upset they weren't staying because the house prices would increase if "the gays" moved in. Pretty funny.

erik

Okay, so i see how this whole thing has turned into some assumption that couples who aren't gay don't have to buy houses that are in need of repair, in low income neighborhoods, or other "development areas"... i'm a married man that makes a modest income (I say this as representation; not whining) that makes too much for programs in my state to qualify for any assistance in first-time buyers programs. Am I to understand from this article/study, that the existence of an openly gay couple can possibly drive the value of a house up for some unsubstantiated reason, with the effect of making the purchase of a home by a first-time/young heterosexual couple, who may be totally open to the idea of rights for all, more difficult? Am i to understand that this is seen as some sort of "victory" for people for "gay rights"?

I would like to think that the ability to buy a home does not have anything to do with what you do within a certain room in that home. This article and others like it do not do anything to help anyone, straight or gay.

jeff

Everytime I go visit a gays house, it smells like shit.

brustephen

Hey Jeff, maybe it's because urine it. And hey, what the hell self-respecting gay would let a homophobic boob like you into their home? Why don't you go fuck yourself with the pogo stick you rode in on. Thanks for being the ubiquitous asshole.

FlashF

Lesbian house construction: Tongue and groove...no studs.

Mike

My buddy was gay. I used to go over to his place all the time. He was a pretty good cook although he had this thing for asian food. It was only after he got arrested that I realized why gay friend loved asians so much. He cooked them. You might remember the guy. Jeffrey Dahmer. Homosexual and Chef. Needless to say, I don't eat asian food much anymore.......or go to my friends houses either....so sad.

Daniel K Martin

My partner and I moved into a new neighborhood, shortly after moving in we put some flowers on our back balcony (its a loft downtown). A week later the neighbors on both sides had plants on thier balconies.

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