How Generational Wealth Affects Homeownership Rates

February 26, 2020
Black couple looking at homes online
By rocketclips

The homeownership rate for people of color has been improving over the years, with black homeownership reaching 44 percent in the last quarter of 2019. But the effects of racist lending practices and segregation still lingers: the 44 percent rate still trails way behind the white homeownership rate of 73.7 percent. To this day, it is harder for people of color to secure loans even as they buy some of the most affordable homes. The country has come a long way, but it still has an uphill battle in ensuring that homeownership is within reach without a buyer’s race coming into play. 

Achieving the American dream of homeownership has become a benchmark that many folks use to measure their success. But it isn't as attainable for many people of color—particularly black Americans—and that's better or worse depending on where they live.

For example, just 8% of black residents living in Montana and North Dakota owned their home, according to a recent report from the National Association of Realtors®. Mississippi, Wyoming, and South Carolina had the highest homeownership rate for blacks, at 54%, 53%, and 51%, respectively. NAR relied on American Community Survey data from 2018 for homeownership information.

Nationally, black Americans had the lowest homeownership rate of any group, at just 44% in the last quarter of 2019, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. And that percentage has been steadily rising over the past few years. But it's significantly lower than that for white Americans, who had the highest homeownership rate, at 73.7%. And it's less than that of other minorities, including Asian Americans, at 57.6%, and Hispanic Americans, at 48.1%.

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