The Racial Gap in Homeownership is Growing

Black families face bigger challenges when trying to buy homes, leading to a growing gap between Black and white homeownership.

2 minute read

March 9, 2023, 9:00 AM PST

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction

White clapboard house with For Sale sign in front yard

Juice Flair / Home for sale

Black homeownership is growing at a lower rate than any other racial or ethnic group, reports CNN’s Anna Bahney in an article republished in Madison 365. “Across a slew of metrics, the challenges Black home buyers are up against are sizeable and showing little improvement.” Black homeownership rates vary between 15 and 55 percent around the country, while white homeownership ranges from 50 percent to 81 percent.

While homeownership rates grew across ethnic groups, Black households saw the slowest growth. Today, the ‘racial homeownership gap’ between white and Black families is 29 percent, up from 26 percent in 2011. This gap is attributed to a complex web of causes, including historic and present discrimination and high housing costs.

The article details the hurdles faced by Black homebuyers, such as mortgage discrimination. Almost a third of Black renter households spend more than 30 percent of their income on housing, making it difficult to save money to buy a home. Additionally, “Black Americans are denied mortgages at a higher rate, with 20% of Black and 15% of Hispanic loan applicants denied mortgages, compared with about 11% of white and 10% of Asian applicants, According to NAR’s analysis of Home Mortgage Disclosure Act data.” More recently, researchers have also uncovered discrimination in home appraisals, which can have a negative impact on the ability of Black families to build generational wealth.

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