Gays Raising and Lowering Property Values

It is a commonly held belief that gay people and gay money raise the property values  as they move in to a neighborhood.  Well a study summarized by Harvard Business Review shows that property values move but the direction of the move depends on the neighbors. An excerpt from from Harvard Business Review:

The addition of one same-sex couple for every 1,000 households is associated with a 1% increase in home prices in U.S. neighborhoods that are socially liberal, but a 1% drop in neighborhoods that are extremely conservative, say David Christafore of Konkuk University in South Korea and Susane Leguizamon of Tulane University. Their study of more than 20,000 real estate transactions in Ohio in 2000 supports previous findings that migration of same-sex couples to an area increases home values, in part because these residents tend to develop or enhance cultural amenities. But the new research suggests that in socially conservative areas, housing prices reflect prejudice against gays.

The findings of improving property values are not shocking. Gay people invest more in real estate than straights. By investing more in property the gay neighbors may cause a keeping up with the Joneses situation. My husband and I always have improved the real estate we have owned and in the Liberal area our house price improved dramatically . Our current house in a Conservative area has not improved as quickly yet we still added a fence, gutters, and did neglected yard work.

The surprising finding that gays would lower property values may just be bigotry. Their bigotry hurts themselves – sweet revenge.

I guess the lesson of the study is that you may not be able to change a conservatives mind about gays, but you can tank their property value to make them pay for their view. How did your neighbors react to you moving in?

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