LGBT Capital, the Hong Kong- and UK-based investment specialist dedicated to serving the specialist needs of lesbian, gay, bi- and trans-sexual individuals, today unveiled what it says is the first-ever global property search portal for the international LGBT community.
The new LGBT “home finder”, which is being called Property Equality and located at www.propertyequality.com, includes Android and iPhone mobile apps, LGBT Capital, the trading arm of UK-based Galileo Capital Management Ltd, said in a statement.
Property Equality will also function as a “search functionality provider” for the recently re-launched “Homes” section of www.gaystarnews.com, a provider of LGBT news and editorial content.
In addition, and another “first” according to LGBT Capital, a specialist mortgage desk is also being launched alongside the portal.
St James’s Place input
Among the features the Property Equality portal will offer those looking for LGBT-friendly homes will be financial planning information, in cooperation with Equality Wealth (www.equality-wealth.com), an accreditation programme for LGBT specialist financial advisers which will include the LGBT mortgage desk. The advice and execution of this will be provided in the London and Southeast market by AAG Wealth Management, an entity of St James’s Place Wealth Management, the Cirencester, England-based, FTSE 100 wealth management company.
This LGBT Mortgage Desk service will gradually be rolled out across the UK.
A “Property Buyers’ Guide for the LGBT Community” is also planned.
Anders Jacobsen, a UK-based co-founder of LGBT Capital who is described as having spearheaded the development of Property Equality, said his belief in the idea that the LGBT community has the potential to be a force for good in supporting “the regeneration of previously blighted urban areas”, alongside encouraging “greater social inclusion” by creating great places to live that in the process invigorate depressed areas, was a factor in conceiving the idea of an LGBT property search portal.
“LGBT consumers often have relatively higher disposable income, and wish to live where they can be open and feel free,” he noted.
LGBT Capital said it is currently rolling out the Property Equality portal on a “country-by-country basis”, following a pilot run in the Spanish market. It is focusing on cities and destinations that are deemed to be of special interest to the LGBT community, including those places “where governments have grasped the power of [the LGBT] community to assist [in the] regeneration of undesirable neighbourhoods”, LGBT Capital noted.
Richard Balaes, group managing director at AAG Wealth Management, said the launch of the Equality Wealth package of services would be key for those in the LGBT community, given that many people in the LGBT community still don’t have access to advisers “who truly understand their needs and the LGBT life cycle”, and that buying property “will typically be the single most significant financial decision” anyone will make in their lifetime.
“We believe that profiling our LGBT-accredited financial advisers via Property Equality will be a powerful driver of increased awareness and respect for the LGBT Community, as individuals and
as potential clients,” he added.
Global market size estimated at 450 million
The global LGBT market is said to be comprised of more than 450 million people, of whom more than 4 million are estimated to live in the UK. The total wealth of this global market is estimated at around US$16trn.
As reported here last August, the increasing public visibility and societal acceptance of LGBT relationships is fueling a growing number of businesses to help LGBT individuals and couples to address the challenges they still face, as well as the sector’s often unique financial planning needs.
To read the thoughts of LGBT Capital founder Paul Thompson on a recent “landmark” ruling in Hong Kong, concerning a British lesbian’s efforts there to to obtain a spousal visa, click here.