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Race and Homebuying Snapshot

homes, houses, housingBlack Americans are more than twice as likely to be saddled with student loan debt and turned down for mortgage loans than their white counterparts, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR).

Minorities—and Black Americans in particular--are confronting obstacles in their pursuit of homeownership, according to The Snapshot of Race and Homebuying in America report from the National Association of Realtors. 

At 42%, the homeownership rate for Black Americans is almost 30% below that of white Americans, which stands at 69.8%. The U.S. homeownership rate sits at 64.2%, with the rates for Asian and Hispanic Americans at 60.7% and 48.1%, respectively. 

At 43%, Black households are more than twice as likely as White households, 21%, to face student loan debt. Meantime, Black applicants received a thumb’s down for mortgage loans at a rate of 2.5 times greater than their white counterparts—10% vs. 4%, respectively. Nationally, the typical home’s within the financial reach of 43% of Black households and 63% of white households71% of Asian households, and 54% of Hispanic households, according to the study.  

While more than 60% of Black households have the means to buy a home in Alaska, Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota, and Vermontless than a third are able to so in California, Colorado, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington state, Wyoming and the District of Columbia. 

Meantime, in California, Hawaii, Oregon, and Washington state less than half of White households are in a position to purchase a home, while more than half of Asian households can do the same in all but six states—California, Colorado, Hawaii, Montana, North Dakota, Wyoming—and the District of Columbia. 

NAR's researchers report that policy proposals such as the Biden administration's first-time buyer tax credit of up to $15,000 would help address many of these underlying problems.

"Under the proposal, homebuyers would receive the tax credit when making the home purchase, rather than having to wait until filing federal income taxes the following year. NAR also believes the first-time buyer tax credit should be accompanied by incentives to create more affordable housing units to prevent the credit from further aggravating the current shortage."

More highlights from the report are available at NAR.org, and the full "Snapshot of race and homebuying in America" also is available.

About Author: Chuck Green

Chuck Green has contributed to the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Chicago Tribune and others covering various industries, including real estate, business and banking, technology, and sports

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