While the nationwide rate of Black homeownership rose year-over-year in the first quarter of 2020, a new Redfin study published Monday also found the rate declined in almost every metro area from 2012 to 2018.
Only 44 percent of Black families own the home they lived in, in the first quarter of 2020, compared to a white homeownership rate of 73.7 percent, according to the study.
“The homeownership gap between Black and white families is a problem that extends far beyond the realm of housing,” Redfin economist Taylor Marr said in a statement. “The value many Black families have missed out on because they were impacted by systemic racism in housing could have been passed down to children and grandchildren, paying for things like higher education, childcare, starting a business and down payments on their own home.”
“Instead, younger generations in the Black community are at an unfair financial and social disadvantage.”
The report found that fewer or the same share of Black families owned their home in every metro area other than Hartford, Connecticut and Austin Texas — where the rate only increased by one percent. In Detroit, Jacksonville, Miami, Memphis, Milwaukee and Oklahoma City, the share of Black families that owned their home dropped more than five percentage points from 2012 to 2018.
In Minneapolis, only 25 percent of Black families own their home, which is the lower Black homeownership rate of any metro area in the U.S. with more than 1 million residents, according to the study. Nationwide protests against racism and police brutality were sparked by an incident in Minneapolis where a Black man was killed by a white police officer in late May.
Milwaukee and Salt Lake City, where 27 percent and 28 percent of Black families own their home, respectively, have the second and third lowest homeownership rate for Black families.
Those three metros are also three of the four cities where the homeownership gap between Black and white Americans is the largest.
Washington D.C. was the metro with the largest Black homeownership rate, at 51 percent, and also the smallest homeownership gap between Black and white families.
“There are a lot of federal employment opportunities for Black individuals in DC, and those jobs provide good salaries that drive homeownership,” Thomas Mathis, a local Washington D.C. Redfin agent said in a statement. “I also see a lot of parents passing homes on to their children.”
“D.C. was predominantly Black at one time and a lot of those families have stayed in the area, which means their homes are still in the family,” Mathias added. “But there’s still plenty of room for improvement.”
Among the reasons that Black homeownership rates are so low is the country’s legacy of discriminatory housing policies. Another recent Redfin study found that redlining accounted for a major lack of home equity in historically Black neighborhoods.
The study also found that rising home prices coupled with increasing income gaps between Black and white families, as well as the 2008 foreclosure crisis, are among the reasons that Black homeownership continues to be so low.