The Black Homeownership Gap has Narrowed, but Disparities Remain

Nearly 1 in 4 Black mortgage applicants are denied, and credit history is the most common reason given.

By Rethinking65

The homeownership rate for Black households has increased faster than average since 2019, but it remains below the peak level reached in 2004, before the Great Recession.

One of the biggest problems remains insufficient credit, according to a report from Zillow. Home Mortgage Disclosure Act data for 2023 shows that 24% of applications from Black borrowers are denied, almost twice the rate of all applicants (12.6%) and far higher than the 1-in-10 denial rate for white applicants. The most commonly given reason is credit (43%), which is higher than in past years. White applicants had a 32% denial rate.

Nearly 46% of Black households own their home, up from the low of 43% in 2019. The peak ownership rate of 49.7% was reached in 2004, before the Great Recession, but that was far from the 74% rate for white households.

The gap in homeownership rates between whites and Black households has decreased since 2019 but remains large and contributes to vast inequalities in wealth, according to Zillow.

Black-owned home values are still far lower than average. If the typical home was worth $1, Black-owned homes would be worth 85 cents and white-owned homes worth $1.03, Zillow states.

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