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Homeownership

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the homeownership rate in the U.S. stood at 64.2% at the end of the second quarter of 2019. However, the black homeownership rate for the same quarter is only a mere 40.6%. This is a record low for the black homeownership rate since it fell to 34.5% in the year 1950. The recent data released by the Census Bureau for the third quarter saw an increase in black homeownership to 42.7%, while the white homeownership rate was at 73.4%. vHomeInsurance chose the top 10 cities with the highest black population and analyzed the market trends to understand the percentage of households owned by black families. 

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The Fair Housing Act, passed in 1968, facilitated an upward trend in black homeownership rates across the country for over 30 years. The black homeownership rate reached a peak in the second quarter of 2004, with 49.7%. From there on, it has been on a downward trend with negligible signs of improvement.

Based on the data collected by the U.S. Census Bureau, the black homeownership rate was 41.7% by the end of the fourth quarter of 2016. At the same time, the overall homeownership rate in the US was 63.7%. The homeownership rate for Non-Hispanic White households was at 72.2%, which came as the highest homeownership rate among all the races. Hispanic and the combined homeownership rate of Asian, Native, Hawaiian, and Pacific Islanders were at  46.3% and 56.6%, respectively.

The year 2017 saw an increase in the black homeownership rate, with 42.7% in the first quarter and ending the year with 42.1% in the last quarter. The black homeownership rate was 22.1% lower than the national homeownership rate and 30.6% lower than the Non-Hispanic White homeownership rate.

The year 2018 witnessed a rather steady state of black homeownership rate with 42.2% in the first quarter, followed by 41.6%, 41.7%, and 42.9%, respectively, in subsequent quarters. At the end of the fourth quarter, the black homeownership rate was 21.9% lower than the overall homeownership rate across the country.

In the year 2019, the homeownership rate of black households saw a dip registering 41.1% in the first quarter and a record low of 40.6% in the second quarter. The second quarter also saw the gap widen between the overall homeownership rate and the black homeownership rate, with a difference of 23.5%.

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Many reasons contribute to the downfall of the black homeownership rate. According to a consumer survey, almost 85% of blacks, who graduated in 2016 were burdened with student debts in comparison to 65% of whites, who graduated in the same year. Black young adults have 85% more education debt than their white counterparts. The lower-income of black households is not helping their cause either. The annual median income of black households is $36,544, which is significantly lower than the average national income of $55,775.

The average credit score of black people is 677, which robs them from the opportunity of availing home loans. This is the lowest among all races, with American Asians having the highest average credit score of 745. The market research also revealed that black home loan applicants were targeted with risky subprime loans and higher mortgage rates compared to white loan applicants under the same criteria.

The National Association of Real Estate Brokers (NAREB) was formed by African American real estate professionals in the year 1947 to promote homeownership and provide equal homeownership opportunities irrespective of caste, creed, and race. NAREB has been working to improve the black homeownership across the country. The organization revealed its objective of creating 2 million black homeowners within the next 5 years. Black people with the American dream of owning a home can use their guidance to make the dream a reality.