Same-sex couples are rejected for mortgages almost 75% more often than heterosexual couples in the US, a new study has found.
The study also found same-sex couples had to pay more than their mixed-sex counterparts, experiencing fees 0.5% higher on average.
The figures are according to a study from Iowa State University’s Ivy College of Business. The university’s researchers correlated data from 30 million mortgages across the US between 1990 and 2015.
They found that same-sex couples were 73% more likely to be denied a mortgage when compared to mixed-sex couples.
The study has raised questions about systemic LGBTI discrimination in the property industry, and the lack of protections for same-sex couples looking for property.
However, the study also found that mortgage denials were higher for heterosexual couples living in areas with high numbers of same-sex couples.
No federal laws to protect LGBTI discrimination
The study found no correlation between mortgage rejections and same-sex couples being high-risk borrowers.
‘Lenders can justify higher fees, if there is [a] greater risk,’ said Lei Gao, assistant professor of finance and co-author of the paper.
‘We found nothing to indicate that’s the case. In fact, our findings weakly suggest same-sex borrowers may perform better.’
Researchers said that while they could not definitively say the rejections were due to discrimination, the evidence heavily suggests this to be the case.
There are federal laws in place to protect mortgage applicants from discrimination. This includes discrimination on the basis of race, religion, sex, national origin, marital status, and age.
But these laws do not extend to protecting applicants based on their sexual orientation.
The study follows a recent survey which found that only 49% of same-sex couples own a home. This is in contrast with over 65% of mixed-sex couples owning their own property.
A separate study from June 2017 showed that property prices in areas with high numbers of gay residents were rising at a rapid rate.