As the housing market continues to recover, gay neighborhoods are leading the charge.
In 2012, it would have cost homebuyers nearly 30 percent more to live in neighborhoods with a large number of gay, lesbian and bisexual residents. Now, it will run almost 37 percent more to live in those same areas.
In honor of Pride Month, Trulia partnered with OKCupid to track the rising -- and falling -- demand for gay communities across the country since 2012. They did this by calculating a "Pride Score." That's the percentage of OKCupid users searching for same-sex partners plus the percentage of same-sex households, according to Census data, for ZIP codes in each U.S. metro area. Trulia then calculated the median values per square foot of homes for sale in those neighborhoods in both 2012 and 2017 to see how they changed over time and relative to their metro areas.
According to the study, many predominantly gay neighborhoods have recovered more quickly than other neighborhoods.
"This is the big puzzle of the whole story," said Ralph McLaughlin, Trulia's chief economist.
"The leading hypothesis is that since 'Pride' individuals and couples tend to have fewer children and higher disposable incomes, they might seek out neighborhoods that are on the upswing."
Many of the more notable gay-friendly cities -- Miami and San Francisco, for example -- actually saw declining home values in gay neighborhoods between 2012 and 2017. These are cities with long-established gay neighborhoods where, over time, the housing market might have been able to calibrate. These declines in value, relative to their metro areas, might be a sign of a healthier housing market overall.
"The rest of the market catches up," McLaughlin said.