Politics can hurt home sales if a neighbor’s yard flag pushes views offensive to a potential buyer – but flags can help if buyers agree.
SEATTLE – People buy homes in neighborhoods, and the area surrounding a property listing carries a lot of weight with buyers who hope to fit into their new community. A study from Redfin polled potential buyers about nearby flags and how it makes them feel about moving into that specific neighborhood.
For example, 29.5% of U.S. homebuyers said a rainbow flag (LGBTQ+) would make them more likely to make an offer on a home in that neighborhood; however, 22% said it would make a home bid less likely. For the remaining 48%, it wouldn’t make a difference either way.
The report focused on 1,256 respondents who indicated that they’re likely to buy a home in the next year. The following question was posed: “Imagine you were touring a home and you were able to afford the down payment and mortgage payments. If you saw each of the following on or around one of the neighbor’s homes, how would that impact your likelihood of making an offer on that home?” Participants were asked about 13 different flags.
Results differed widely by political preference and age. With the rainbow flag (LGBTQ+), for example, about two of every five (41.4%) homebuyers who identified as Democrat said they’d be more likely to make an offer on a home. However, more than one-third (34.6%) of Republican buyers said it would make them less likely to make an offer.
By age, almost two of every five (37.9%) Gen Z respondents would be more likely to make an offer on a home in a neighborhood where they saw a rainbow flag – a higher share than any other generation surveyed. That compares with 30.9% of millennials, 19.7% of Gen Xers and 17.7% of baby boomers.
“In today’s divided nation, living amongst likeminded people could be considered a neighborhood amenity, just like highly rated schools and walkability,” says Redfin Chief Economist Daryl Fairweather. “Remote work has allowed scores of people to move to new areas and deprioritize proximity to the office. Oftentimes, that means homebuyers self-sort into areas where their neighbors think and vote like them.”
Homebuyers were most put off by Confederate flags. Roughly half (47.7%) said seeing a Confederate flag would make them less likely to make an offer on a home – the highest “less likely” share among the 13 flags respondents tested.
Buyers were most drawn to American flags. More than two in five (44.8%) said seeing an American flag would make them more likely to make an offer on a home there – the highest “more likely” share among the flags respondents were asked about.
Homebuyers were most divided on Gadsden (“don’t tread on me”) flags: 25.6% said seeing one would make them more likely to make an offer, while roughly the same share (26.8%) said it would make them less likely to make an offer.
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