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Minorities Struggle to Secure Homeownership

Information from the U.S. Census Bureau and the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) found that homeownership rates for minorities fell to 64.2% in Q1 2019 from 64.8% in Q4 2018.

The “all minority” homeownership rate, which includes African American, Hispanic and “other households” (Asian, Native American, etc.), came in at 47.1% in Q1 2019—a slight year-over-year decrease from 48%, and a decline from 47.7% in Q4 2018.

Recent NAHB information revealed that the amount of newly-formed owner-occupied home grew in the first quarter. Expansion during Q1 2019, though, was slower than last year, indicating the decline of affordable housing due to elevated home prices.

First American’s Real Estate Sentiment Index (RESI) published last week found that while falling mortgage rates have given the housing market a boost, price remains a factor for potential buyers.

“According to 57% of title agents and real estate professionals surveyed, the unexpectedly low mortgage rates of 2019 have increased home buyer demand in their market. In fact, only 15% disagreed with this sentiment,” said Mark Fleming, chief economist at First American. “However, despite lower mortgage rates boosting affordability and stimulating demand, 40% of survey respondents indicated that affordability is the primary obstacle to becoming a homeowner – this is not surprising as house prices nationally continue to grow, albeit at a slower pace in 2019.”

Fleming said the RESI found affordability to be the primary obstacle to homeownership, as those who found affordability to be an obstacle increased to 40% from 30.1% year-over-year.

According to the NAHB and the Census Bureau, homeownership rates fell for all minorities during Q1 2019, with the African American rate falling the most by 1.3% to 41.8%. Hispanic homeownership rates fell to 47.4%, while “other, non-hispanic” rates fell by just 0.7% to 56.3%.

Homeownership rates for African Americans have been on a steady decline, and have fallen from almost 50% in 2004 to the reported rate of 41.8%.

White, non-hispanic rates, however, grew by 0.7% to 73.2% during the first few months of 2019.

About Author: Mike Albanese

A graduate of the University of Alabama, Mike Albanese has worked for news publications since 2011 in Texas and Colorado. He has built a portfolio of more than 1,000 articles, covering city government, police and crime, business, sports, and is experienced in crafting engaging features and enterprise pieces. He spent time as the sports editor for the "Pilot Point Post-Signal," and has covered the DFW Metroplex for several years. He has also assisted with sports coverage and editing duties with the "Dallas Morning News" and "Denton Record-Chronicle" over the past several years.
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