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On the State of Black Homeownership

Working toward dismantling the institutional racism that has plagued Black families for generations, the National Association of Real Estate Brokers (NAREB) has released its latest iteration of the State of Housing in Black America Report report which aims to provide a comprehensive annual analysis of Black homeownership and the historic barriers they face when seeking to purchase a home. 

“We often think of wealth in terms of cash, investments and even Bitcoin, but wealth is also found in the water we drink, the air we breathe and the land on which we live,” said Lydia Pope, NAREB’s President. “It is the sacred duty of community leaders, policy makers and financial industry specialists to lift communities so that all children can thrive and grow up with opportunities for good health, wealth and happiness in their lives.” 

Moreover, the report states: “Race has historically been the main determinant of the placement of toxic facilities in the United States. And decades of redlining and segregation has ensured that Black inner-city communities are home to some of the most deteriorated infrastructure in the nation. Black communities are on the front lines of climate change as a lack of resources and outdated housing stock and infrastructure…make them more vulnerable to the adverse effects of extreme weather and climate change.” 

Overall, during the first quarter of 2022, Black homeownership was down to 44.7% from 45.3% reported in 2020. In 1970, that disparity rate stood at 23.8%, but even in 2022 the homeownership gap was still over 30%, continuing the trend of an expanding homeownership rates between Blacks and whites. Equally important, the current Black homeownership rate remains far below its peak recorded in 2004, when Black homeownership exceeded 49%. 

The report also analyzes the recent trend of non-deposit lenders, such as Fintech companies, increasing their market share of mortgages, and the impact on other bank related functions. 

“Higher profit, more lucrative investment strategies for banks has come at the expense of supporting homeownership and wealth building in low-income communities and communities of color,” the report states. “Federal Reserve data indicate that in the third quarter of 2021, residential real-estate loans hit a historic low as a percentage of total assets (10%) at U.S. banks, whereas the share of safe assets—investments such as cash, Treasuries, and government-guaranteed securities—increased from the prior year. The closing of branches by larger banks in low-income areas and profit-maximizing strategies such as high overdraft fees, debit card swipe fees, ATM withdrawal fees, and wire transfer fees, among other charges, have particularly impacted low-income customers and customers of color.” 

The report further found that 72% of Black applicants compared to 63% of white applicants applied for loans at independent companies in 2021, while white banks continue to disproportionately attract white borrowers at a rate of 33% to 20%. 

Click here to view the 100-page report in its entirety. 

About Author: Kyle G. Horst

Kyle G. Horst is a reporter for DS News and MReport. A graduate of the University of Texas at Tyler, he has worked for a number of daily, weekly, and monthly publications in South Dakota and Texas. With more than 10 years of experience in community journalism, he has won a number of state, national, and international awards for his writing and photography including best newspaper design by the Associated Press Managing Editors Group and the international iPhone photographer of the year by the iPhone Photography Awards. He most recently worked as editor of Community Impact Newspaper covering a number of Dallas-Ft. Worth communities on a hyperlocal level. Contact Kyle G. at [email protected].

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