Women And Minorities Missing Out On Homeownership And Big Tax Breaks

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When controlling for age and income, women and minorities are still less likely than white men to have a mortgage, according to a Trulia analysis

April 13, 2016

Photo Credit: NY Photographic, Picserver Creative Commons

Even if they identify as the head of their household, women and minorities are still not borrowing to buy homes at the same rate of men and whites, whether they have the same income or not. Not only are women and minorities less likely to own a home, they're also missing out on some of the biggest tax benefits available.

The biggest of these benefits is the mortgage interest tax deduction (MITD). Taxpayers saved over $80 billion dollars as a result of the MITD in 2013 alone. But the MITD is a tax break that is known to benefit higher income taxpayers, which leads to white heads of households being more than three times as likely to be eligible to claim the deduction than black heads of households. In addition, women are 31 percent less likely than men to be eligible to claim it, Trulia reports.

On average, minorities and women have lower incomes, so they are less likely to take out a mortgage to buy a home, meaning they are even less likely to take advantage of MITD.

Using the Census’ 2014 American Community Survey, Trulia created an even playing field where race, ethnicity, and gender were the only variations separating potential mortgage holders. After controlling for age and income, the analysis found blacks are still 56.9 percent less likely to own a home with a mortgage than whites. While the Northeast and Midwest were not favorable areas for blacks, Florida, California, and Texas saw less drastic differences in how likely they were to own a home with a mortgage.

Meanwhile, Japanese Americans in Honolulu are twice as likely to own compared to whites and in San Francisco Bay Area cities, Chinese Americans are twice as likely to have a mortgage as whites. However, Chinese Americans were still 38.9 percent less likely to have a mortgage nationally. In general, the chances of a minority having a mortgage tend to be higher in cities where heads of households of a particular minority group make up a large share of the overall population.

Nationally, single women are 6.2 percent less likely to own a home with a mortgage than single men, but in cities like San Antonio, Seattle, and Denver, single women had mortgages at a greater rate than men.

To view the entire report as well as inforgraphics and charts, click the link below.

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