Black Homeownership Plunges to Record Low

July 17, 2019

The homeownership rate of black Americans hit an all-time low in the first quarter of this year as black communities continue struggling to recover financially from the housing crisis a decade ago, recent U.S. Census Bureau data shows. The black homeownership rate has dropped 8.6 percentage points since peaking in 2004.

“We can see that discrimination is still there, although it has changed its form,” Michela Zonta, a senior policy analyst at the Center for American Progress, told The Wall Street Journal. Zonta released a study this week that found higher-income black homeowners are more likely to purchase homes in predominantly minority neighborhood, which have mostly failed to see home values rise since the foreclosure crisis.

In comparison, neighborhoods with predominantly white borrowers have seen homes appreciate 3% between 2006 to 2017, while homes in predominantly black neighborhoods tended to be worth 6% less than they were in 2006, according to Zonta’s study.

Black homeownership is now lagging behind other minority groups that have seen recent progress. For example, Hispanic homeownership rates are on the rise, and economists note this is the first time in 20 years where Hispanics and blacks—the two largest racial minorities in the U.S.—are no longer following the same path when it comes to homeownership rates.

Black Homeownership Drops to All-Time Low,” The Wall Street Journal (July 15, 2019)