Family Money Boosts Chances of Homeownership for Californians

Buying a home in California is increasingly a matter of generational wealth.
August 28, 2018, 8am PDT | Elana Eden
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An analysis by KPCC of more than 600,000 FHA loans found that Californians increasingly rely on family support to buy their first homes. That trend has prompted concern among experts that today's housing market is fueling inequities produced by past racial exclusion. 

"Back in 2011, about one in four FHA loans in California included down payment money from relatives. Today, it's one in three," report David Wagner and Aaron Mendelson. In many parts of the state—from East San Jose to South Central LA—fully half of FHA borrowers received funds from their families.

The bigger the role of family wealth in homeownership, the worse the racial wealth gap is likely to become, researchers told KPCC: White families can often transfer wealth to their children precisely because they were favored by government policies around homeownership, while families of color who were excluded from owning a home now have less of a chance to help their children afford one.

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Published on Tuesday, July 31, 2018 in KPCC
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