By Sabrina Lynch
- Black households have less than one-tenth of the wealth white households as housing wealth continues to increase
- Housing wealth has increased by $8.2T over a 10-year period
Black and Latinx homeowners are once again getting the short end of the deal in the newly revived real estate market. Housing wealth has significantly increased from $15.9 trillion in 2010 to $24.1 trillion over a 10-year period. However, low-and-middle income households are not reaping the gains due to home prices appreciating so much that families of Color are being out-priced out of their very own neighborhoods. Homeownership is typically the top asset through which wealth can be derived, which means eliminating the Black-White wealth gap is going to be even tougher as Black homeownership continues to decline.
Why This Matters: Cities which have seen the biggest home price increases include Phoenix with a 7.12% Black population, along with Atlanta, Florida and Las Vegas which have Black populations of 50.9%, 16% and 12.2% respectively. San Bernardino in California alone has experienced price increases of more than 200%. This a county that’s home to 30.7K African American residents who are not in a position to profit from this newly accrued wealth. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the homeownership rate among white Americans is 73.2%, while the Black homeownership rate stands at 41.1%.
Unfortunately, houses in Black communities are worth less than 50% of homes in white communities, further perpetuating the inequality that prevents People of Color from building stable economic security. All of this is the result of federal and state policies that continually prevent access to financial resources that would help, leaving fewer economic opportunities for Black/Latinx households to fall back on when a crisis hits.
Situational Awareness: COVID is continuing to create racial and economic regressions for People of Color. The U.S. government, through tax policy and other incentive programs, does heavily subsidize home purchases, though historically, these programs have shut minorities out. American families have long depended on building intergenerational wealth through homeownership, but this financial pathway is becoming more elusive for communities of color.
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