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African-American, Minority Homeownership Increases

Information from the U.S. Census Bureau’s Housing and Vacancy Report found that the African-American homeownership has increased 8% in the past six months to 44% in Q4 2019—the highest recorded level since 2012.

However, analysis from the Urban Institute says a deeper dive into the stats is needed.

The report reference five different sources—the American Community Survey; Population/Housing Vacancy Survey; American Housing Survey; Decennial Census; and the Annual Social and Economic Supplement. The homeownership among those reports fluctuates from 63.8% to 66.9%. 

“The Census Bureau reports the margin of error for the [Housing Vacancy Survey] at the 90% confidence level. By adding and subtracting the margin of error from the estimate, we can create a confidence interval in which there is a 90% chance that the true value for the population lies within the interval,” the report states. “The smaller the sample, the larger the uncertainty.” 

Additionally, the report says that some of the biggest differences in the Housing Vacancy Survey do not correspond with decreases and increases in the American Community Survey homeownership rate. 

Urban said the confidence interval on the American Community Survey is smaller because of the large sample size, which is why it is used as Urban’s “benchmark” for homeownership.

“Measuring the homeownership rate requires balancing the frequency of the estimate and the level of uncertainty you are willing to tolerate,” the report says. 

Although it can be difficult to track, the Census report revealed that minority homeownership rate rose to 48.6% during Q4 2019—a year-over-year increase of 0.8 percentage points. 

The latest figure is the highest it's been since Q3 2011 (48.9%). 

This increase is higher than the gain in the overall U.S. homeownership rate, which rose 0.3 percentage points to 65.1% in Q4 2019. 

The Hispanic homeownership rate gained the most during the quarter—rising 1.2 percentage points to 48.1%

African-American homeownership rose to 44.6% during Q4 2019. The report states this is the largest quarterly gain since Q1 2017. 

About Author: Mike Albanese

Mike Albanese is a reporter for DS News and MReport. He is a University of Alabama graduate with a degree in journalism and a minor in communications. He has worked for publications—both print and online—covering numerous beats. A Connecticut native, Albanese currently resides in Lewisville.

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