Jan 27, 2022 - News

Black applicants disproportionately denied mortgages

Data: Zillow analysis of data from the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA); Map: Baidi Wang/Axios
Data: Zillow analysis of data from the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA); Map: Baidi Wang/Axios

Ohio's Black mortgage applicants are denied at almost twice the rate of white applicants, according to a new Zillow analysis of Home Mortgage Disclosure Act data.

Why it matters: Homeownership is a key way to build generational wealth, but non-white Americans have historically been shut out of this opportunity due to systemic racism and segregation policies.

By the numbers: More than 20% of Black mortgage applicants in Ohio were denied in 2020, compared to 11.7% of white applicants.

Zoom in: The most common reason for Black applicant denials was poor credit history, Zillow reports.

  • Pandemic-related setbacks have disproportionately impacted communities of color, and as a result have made gaps in credit access harder to close.
  • Hispanic and American Indian or Alaska Native Ohioans are also denied at higher rates, 15.3% and 23.2%.

Zoom out: Nationwide, 19.8% of Black applicants were denied, the highest among all races, compared to 10.7% of white applicants.

What they're saying: The pandemic's disproportionate impact is "making the journey to equity even slower than it already was," Zillow market analyst Nicole Bachaud writes in the report.

  • Black home ownership overall has dipped in recent years, Zillow found, and so have the values of Black-owned homes.

Between the lines: Home prices continue to soar across the central Ohio region, which is narrowing the affordability gap for many potential buyers and creating additional barriers.

Go deeper: Race and housing in America.

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