A study shows that same-sex couples lift property values in neighborhoods that support marriage equality and hurt prices in neighborhoods that do not, which suggests that the perception of antigay discrimination can lower market prices.
Bloomberg reports on the study of neighborhoods in Columbus, Ohio, based on how they voted on the state's Defense of Marriage Act in 2004. Professors David Christafore of Konkuk University in Seoul and Susane Leguizamon of Tulane University in New Orleans compared home values in the neighborhoods after controlling for other factors like proximity to the city center, education, and crime rates. The study will be published in the Journal of Urban Economics.
"The economics professors, who studied home values in 2000 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," reports Bloomberg. "The same influx in areas that didn't support same-sex marriage was linked to a 1 percent discount."
Leguizamon said that the lower market prices reflect the impact of the perception that prejudice exists against gay and lesbian residents.
The study refines the long-held view that gay and lesbian residents increase housing prices by helping to gentrify neighborhoods. Attitudes have continued to evolve, and an examination of more recent home prices may have yielded different results, but the study's authors said they used home prices from 2000 to avoid the complications of the housing downturn that began in 2006.