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Home Prices Rise Most in Gay and Lesbian Neighborhoods: Trulia

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Home prices continue to rise at a healthy clip, with the Case Shiller 20-City Composite Index rising 12.1% year-over-year in April.

But real estate is local and some neighborhoods are seeing more rapid increases than others.

Within each of the 20 cities for instance, home prices are rising more rapidly in urban centers than in the suburbs, according to a blog post by Trulia economist Jed Kolko. Urban centers, defined as areas dominated by high-rise buildings, condos and apartment-style homes saw home prices rise 11.3% year-over-year in April. Suburban neighborhoods, comprised of mostly detached, single-family homes, saw prices rise by 10.3%. The gap between price gains in urban and suburban homes was widest in Detroit, Phoenix and Miami.

At an even more local level, Trulia found that the steepest gains are being reported in neighborhoods that are racially and ethnically diverse, according to Trulia. Neighborhoods where no group makes up a majority of the population, saw home prices rise by a whopping 14.3% in April.

Neighborhoods where gay couples accounted for more than 1% of the population (three times the national average) had price increases of 13.8%, while neighborhoods where lesbian couples accounted for more than 1% saw prices rise by 16.5%.

You can read Kolko's methodology for determining gay and lesbian neighborhoods in this post.

New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco Bay Area have the biggest gay populations in the country, according to Kolko.

Same-sex couples in general seem to live in more expensive areas, according to Kolko's analysis. He attributes this to the fact that same-sex couples are less likely to have kids --10% of same-sex male couples and 24% of same-sex female couples have kids in the house, compared with 41% of all married and unmarried couples.

As a result, they are able to afford desirable, urban neighborhoods, Kolko said, citing academic research.

-- Written by Shanthi Bharatwaj in New York.

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