PORTRAIT OF A HAPPY young African American family standing in front of their American suburban home.
by WI Webstaff, For New Pittsburgh Courier
Even though home prices have significantly increased during the pandemic and homeownership continues to grow overall for Americans, Blacks are behind other racial groups owning homes, according to a study released Friday from the National Association of Realtors (NAR).
African American homeownership, 43.4 percent, remains lower than it was a decade ago, according to the study. The Black rate is almost 30 percentage points behind Whites, who stand at 72.1 percent, the highest of any racial group.
Latino homeownership hovers around 50 percent, for the first time, while 61.7 percent of all Asians own their homes. Jessica Lautz, NAR vice president of demographics and behavioral insights, said the Black homeownership rate is troubling.
CNN reported, “housing affordability and low inventory have made it even more challenging for all buyers to enter into homeownership, but even more so for Black Americans,” Lautz said.
According to the study, while households earn more than $100,000 a year including nearly half of all Asians and 35 percent of Whites, only 25 percent of Latinos and 20 percent of Blacks earn that much money. States such as Maryland, West Virginia, Kansas, Ohio, and Indiana are the most affordable for Blacks.
The least affordable states for Blacks are Utah, Oregon, California, Nevada, and Rhode Island. Black and Latinos report being rejected for mortgages at a higher rate than whites and Asians and African Americans report higher incidents of discrimination in a real estate transaction.
Additionally, 41 percent of Blacks with student debt is more than twice that of Asians with 16 percent and nearly twice that of Whites at 22 percent and Latinos at 26 percent. U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Marcia Fudge said more needs to be done to increase the Black homeownership rate.
“Today, homeownership is the principal source of wealth creation for most American households,” Fudge said in the CNN report. “Unfortunately, NAR’s report confirms that Black Americans are being locked out of homeownership opportunities at an even higher rate than a decade ago. It is critical that we bridge the racial homeownership gap with intentional solutions that recognize both the persistent history of discrimination and inequity and the current crisis of housing affordability.”