About a week ago an article from the National Association of REALTORS® hit my inbox and caught my attention. The title of the article was, “NAR Study Underscores Commitment to Racial Equality” and pulled heavily from a report that the National Association of REALTORS® published. The report, “Snapshot of Race & Home Buying in America,” underscores my assertion from my last Connector piece that my industry needs to be better. The 2020 numbers are not in yet. Statistics cited herein are for the year 2019.
The Basics – homeownership rates by race: White American 69.8%, Asian American 60.7%, Hispanic American 48.1%, and Black 42%. In Ohio, it is 72% for whites and 33% for blacks. If homeownership is the symbol of “The American Dream,” how attainable is that dream for POC when the average net worth of a white family is $188,200, nearly EIGHT TIMES that of the average black family ($24,100). That sort of tipped scale does not happen without institutional inconsistency (my opinion).
Nationwide, 43% of Black Americans can afford the “average priced” house, while 63% of White Americans can. Interestingly, 71.4% of Asian Americans and 54% of Hispanic Americans can.
When it comes to mortgage financing: “Minorities tended to reveal a harder time in real estate transactions. Of the survey respondents who said they witnessed or experienced discrimination in a real estate transaction, 41% of Black respondents said they felt they faced stricter requirements because of their race compared to 27% of Asian respondents, 19% of Hispanic respondents, and 16% of white respondents. About one-third of Black home buyers and a quarter of Asian home buyers said they witnessed or experienced discrimination with the type of loan product they were offered. The report shows Black home buyer applicants are rejected for mortgage loans at a rate 2.5 times greater than white applicants.” -National Association of REALTORS®
The saddest number to me is that in 2019, 89.8% of all homes sold in Ohio were purchased by White Americans. What is one to do? I feel pretty helpless at times if I am being honest, but we do what we can. In 2021, I am honored to have been appointed to the state-level Committee on Diversity and Inclusion in Real Estate. Our goals are to:
1. Provide an arena for open dialog on issues affecting fair housing;
2. advocate for policy solutions at the local level;
3. promote an equitable and accessible housing finance system;
4. network with other affiliate organizations and institute associations;
5. provide further outreach and counseling initiatives for renters and mortgage-ready people; and
6. and cultivate participation and leadership opportunities.
Though Redlining is a thing of the past, there are still things that need to be addressed. I’m open to any input or suggestions that anyone may have.