D.C.'s Black homeownership rates have stagnated
Through the lows of the 2008 housing crisis and Great Recession, to the highs of the booming 2020 real estate market, the percentage of new Black homebuyers in the D.C. area has remained relatively unchanged, according to census data analyzed by the National Association of Realtors.
Why it matters: The D.C. region has roughly double the rate of Black residents than the U.S. as a whole, but lagging Black homeownership indicates persistent systemic barriers.
By the numbers: Between 2005 and 2021, the average rate of new, Black D.C.-area homebuyers was 17.4%. The rate peaked at 20.6% in 2007 and hit a low of 13.8% in 2016.
- During that same period, 63% of new homebuyers in the region were white.
Zoom out: National trends tell a similar story. Between 2005 and 2021, the average rate of Black homebuyers was 7%, while that of white homebuyers was 81%.
Between the lines: Black homeownership has seen a nationwide decline since the Great Recession, Zillow senior economist Nicole Bachaud tells Axios.
- Foreclosures have had a disproportionate impact on minority communities, she says. Institutional barriers such as high rates of mortgage denial, higher interest rates, and predatory lending practices also hinder Black homebuyers.
What we’re watching: There’s been a wave of local initiatives aimed at boosting Black homeownership, including D.C.’s Strike Force — which aims to help 20,000 Black D.C. residents become homeowners by 2030 — and Prince George’s County’s Pathway to Purchase.
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