How the recent marriage ruling will boost business

by MPA07 Jul 2015
Originators can expect an influx of same sex couples encouraged to purchase homes in the wake of the recent Supreme Court ruling.

“I expect to see the number of home purchases by gay and lesbian couples increase in the next six months, whether that’s exponentially, I can’t say,” Michael Taraboulos of BHG Rand Realty told MPA. “I think the mental road block for gay couples has been lifted and they are likely to feel more confident in moving ahead with that purchase.

“The ruling also supports shared ownership rights for gay couples and that will help to encourage couples to buy.”

It’s a potentially lucrative market for originators to tap into. And one that is known to also bolster home prices – another plus for brokers.

A 2012 study by Susane Leguizamon of Tulane University and David Christafore of Konkuk University in South Korea found that gay couples moving into neighbourhoods increases home prices in socially liberal areas – and originators can expect an influx of business.

The Harvard Business Review summarized the study:

“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,” it wrote. “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.”

This is assuming the nation-wide ruling will encourage more same sex couples to purchase homes together.

If that number does increase, home values spiking as a result will create larger commission for originators.

And any jolt to housing formation among Americans would be welcomed by originators.

According to HouseCanary, changing demographics are affecting housing demand. 

“The vast imbalances in wealth and homeownership among Baby Boomers (age 55+) and Millennials (ages <35) are resulting in wide disparities in the demand for home buying versus renting,” J.P. Ackerman, president of HouseCanary said. “Our analysis indicates that rising interest rates and home prices will exacerbate the situation as the Millennials’ ability to purchase homes will be severely jeopardized as monthly payments get further out of reach.”

Still, Taraboulos, who grew up on Kansas City, believes the mortgage industry has generally been very supportive of helping same success couples finance their homes – even prior to the recent ruling.

“I have found that even in the most conservative parts of the country, mortgage originators, in my years of experience, have always supported the right for couples – whether that’s two male or two females – to buy homes together,” Taraboulos said the 28 year industry veteran. “Both Realtors and mortgage originators are bound by a strong code of ethics.”