Black homeownership rates are lower now than they were a decade ago – CBS Baltimore

(CNN) Even as home prices have skyrocketed during the pandemic, home ownership rates continue to rise. But home buying rates are not growing at the same rate for all Americans, according to a new report from the National Association of Realtors.

According to the NAR, more Americans own homes than in any year since the Great Recession, with home ownership in the US rising to 65.5% in 2020. That number is up 1.3 % compared to 2019, the largest annual increase on record.

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But the black home ownership rate, at 43.4%, is still lower than it was a decade ago. And it’s nearly 30 percentage points behind the white-host rate of 72.1%. Meanwhile, the percentage of Hispanic hosts rose to an all-time high, reaching above 50% for the first time, and the share of Asian hosts at 61.7%.

“Housing affordability and low inventory have made it more difficult for all buyers to own,” said Jessica Lautz, NAR Vice President of Demographics and Behavioral Insights. homeowners, but for black Americans it’s so much more.

The disparity highlights the challenges faced by minority homebuyers, Mr. Lautz said.

“Today, home ownership is the primary source of wealth for most American households,” said Marcia L. Fudge, Secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development. “Unfortunately, the NAR report confirms that black Americans are being locked out of home ownership at rates even higher than a decade ago.”

Minister Fudge added: “It is vital that we close the racial equity gap with targeted solutions that recognize both the long history of discrimination and inequality, as well as the long history of discrimination and inequality. current housing affordability crisis.”

Who can afford to buy?

NAR found that affording a home has become much more difficult during the pandemic for low-skilled buyers.

Since 2019, home prices have skyrocketed 30% — or about $80,000 on average for a typical home. Meanwhile, housing inventories have fallen below one million units available for sale. And about half of those homes are affordable for households with an annual income of at least $100,000, the report found.

While households earning more than $100,000 a year include nearly half of Asian households and 35% of white households, only 25% of Hispanic households earn that much, and only 20% of black households do.

According to an analysis by NAR based on income level and availability of states where Black households can afford a home are Maryland, West Virginia, Kansas, Ohio and Indiana. The most affordable states for Black households are Utah, Oregon, California, Nevada, and Rhode Island.

Economic disparity

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In addition to buying homes at lower rates, Black and Hispanic homebuyers face serious obstacles on their path to home ownership.

According to the NAR, black and Hispanic Americans are denied mortgages at higher rates than their white and Asian counterparts.

Black households are also the most likely of any homebuyer group to be burdened with student loan debt, which can prevent prospective homebuyers from saving for an upfront payment. . 41% of black households have student debt more than double that of Asian households of 18% and nearly double that of white households of 22%, while 26% of Hispanic households You have student debt.

According to the report, student loan debt also tends to be larger, with an average balance of $45,000, higher than that of Hispanic households of $35,500 and white households of $30,000. and Asian households is $24,400, according to the report.

Black households also face a major challenge in saving to buy a home as half of all black rental households are burdened with costs, spending more than 30% of their income for rent. In addition, 28% “burden expenses” and pay half or more of their income for rent.

“Black households not only spend a large portion of their income on rent, but they are also more likely to have student debt and have higher balances,” says Lautz. “This makes it difficult for Black households to save for a down payment, and as a result, they often use their 401(k) savings or retirement savings to own a home. ”

According to the NAR, Black and Hispanic Americans are at least twice as likely as white Americans to use their 401(k) or retirement funds as a source of down payment to buy a home.

Close the gap

A set of housing groups, including NAR, have created Black home ownership cooperationaims to increase black home ownership to 3 million households by 2030. Recommendations to achieve this include improvements in home ownership advice and upfront assistance, products credit and mortgages for underserved and excluded populations, while expanding the number of affordable homes.

According to the group, raising the percentage of Black homeownership to that of white Americans would require increasing the number of existing Black homeowners by 72 percent, or about 5 million.

Additionally, HUD has established an interagency task force on appraisal bias and launched a homebuyer assistance program that provides funding to states to support sustainable home ownership. .

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Jake Nichol

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