Racial Disparities Persist on Path to Homeownership

While the overall U.S. homeownership rate has been rising, it's not equal among all races.
The National Association of REALTORS® released a report Tuesday, “Snapshot of Race & Home Buying in America,” that breaks down ownership rates by race across the country. For non-Hispanic white Americans, the homeownership rate consistently stayed above 71% from 2016 to 2019, while for black Americans in that same period, it was a full 30 percentage points lower at 41%. Hispanic Americans held at about 45% during that three-year period, and the ownership rate among Asian Americans was more than 53%.
The report also offers a look at each race’s motivation to purchase, types of homes purchased, and other statistics that relate to race in the homebuying process. The finding show many differences and some hurdles to homeownership. For example, 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.

Median home prices varied considerably among races, too, with Asian/Pacific Islanders spending the most at $435,000 compared to $228,000 among African Americans, who tended to spend the least.The type of home that buyers were looking for also differed among races. For example, African Americans were most likely to purchase a multigenerational home at 22%, followed by Hispanics at 18%. Whites were the least likely to shop for a multigenerational house at 11%.

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