Overall US Homeownership Rises, But Not For African Americans: Report

A  recent analysis by the National Association of Realtors shows homeownership among African Americans between 2016 and 2019, was consistently lower than ownership for white Americans.

According to the report conducted by the National Association of Realtors, the percentage of non-Hispanic white Americans who own homes has been consistently above 71%, but for other races, the numbers are significantly lower. For Hispanic Americans, homeownership rates have been consistently above 45%, and 53% of Asian Americans own a home. However, for African Americans, the rate is just above 41%.

When broken down by state, the numbers get worse for African Americans. The percentage of African American homeowners range from 8% to 54% by state. For white Americans, the percentage of homeownership by state ranges from 49% to 79%.

Home prices also varied. Asian homeowners are spending the most on homes at an average of $435,000 while African Americans spend the least at an average of $228,000.

One of the biggest reasons for lower homeownership among minorities is due to the hurdles of acquiring a home. The study states 62% of African Americans were rejected for a mortgage because of their debt-to-income ratio, and 50% of Hispanic Americans were rejected due to a low credit score.

Other studies have found similar results. A study last year by the National Association of Real Estate Brokers showed black homeownership rates were falling even though the economy was growing. Additionally, the study found racial discrimination was one of the most significant issues for the low ownership rate among African Americans

Black homeownership “has historically been built on a foundation largely consisting of various forms of predatory, high-cost, and unsustainable home purchase loan products and other deceptive and discriminatory housing market practices,” the study said.

The coronavirus outbreak has made things worse as the economy has ground to a halt. Up to 14 million Americans could lose their jobs meaning the number of African Americans who will lose their homes could rise significantly. Job losses among minority and low wage workers have already been significant.