Feb 20, 2024 - Real Estate

Racial gaps persist in Seattle-area home values

Difference in the typical value of homes owned by Black and white people, by metro area
Data: Zillow; Map: Erin Davis/Axios Visuals

Homes owned by white people continue to be worth substantially more than those owned by Black people in the Seattle area, according to new data from Zillow.

Why it matters: Homeownership remains the biggest driver of the wealth gap, per the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

By the numbers: In the Seattle metro area, the typical value of homes with Black owners in December was $583,700.

  • That's 16.7% less than the typical value of local homes with white owners, which was $700,900.

The big picture: Nationwide, there was an 18% gap between the typical value of homes owned by Black people ($291,000) versus white people ($354,000).

  • This gap was widest in Birmingham, Alabama, where Black-owned homes were typically valued 46% lower; and in Detroit, where they were 45.4% lower.

Of note: McAllen, Texas, was the only metro where the typical value of homes with Black owners was higher than those with white owners.

What they're saying: Black owners seeing their homes being appraised for less than those of their white counterparts isn't new. "It's no longer a myth or legend that this happens," HUD chief of staff Julienne Joseph tells Axios.

  • The majority of the appraiser workforce is white, and it's often difficult to report appraisal discrimination, though new policies are aimed at addressing both of those hurdles, Joseph says.
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