Rtl today – black buyers underrepresented in US housing boom
The Covid-19 pandemic has changed the nature of buying a home in the United States, but one constant is that black Americans do not have the same access to their own housing.
Black buyers made up just 6% of total home buyers this year – a figure that has changed little over the past two decades, according to a National Association of Realtors (NAR) report released Thursday.
Pandemic dynamics have allowed many Americans to catch up on student loans and build up savings as spending opportunities like travel and dining out were banned.
As remote working has become the norm, more and more buyers have packed their bags and moved to be closer to family and friends rather than relocating for a job, according to the 2021 Buyers Profile and NAR house sellers.
However, black Americans are more heavily burdened with student debt than their white counterparts and less able to get help from their families, according to the report.
âUnfortunately, the breed hasn’t really changed much this year. We’re still seeing fairly consistent and low shares of minority buyers,â NAR’s Jessica Lautz told AFP in an interview.
While low interest rates have made mortgages more accessible, the now chronic shortage of homes for sale has pushed up prices and excluded many first-time buyers from the market, the data shows.
Even in the South, blacks made up just nine percent of home buyers in an area where their population in some states is more than double the national average of 13 percent, according to the report.
Previous research from the NAR shows homeownership rates for whites to be 30 percentage points higher than for black buyers, who are more than twice as likely to have student loan debt and homeownership. a higher amount, and are turned down for mortgages at more than twice the rate of white applicants.
And because they’re less likely to own a home, they’re not able to use the proceeds from the sale of a home to finance a purchase.
– Fixed price –
While the share of first-time buyers has increased this year, it remains below the historic standard of 40%, said Lautz, vice president of demographics and behavioral insights at NAR.
“We know that first-time buyers are struggling to enter this housing market,” she said, adding that they are struggling “to raise the money and be able to compete with other homebuyers. “who can increasingly pay in cash.
With historically low inventories – exacerbated by a shortage of workers and supply issues and a tendency for builders to focus on large, expensive homes – sellers are getting the asking price and more for their homes, and a higher share of their homes. buyers can pay cash.
The median price of homes was $ 305,000, more than $ 30,000 more than in 2020, according to the report.
President Joe Biden has made falling house prices part of his Build Back Better bill before Congress, calling for $ 150 billion for “the largest and most comprehensive investment in the world. affordable housing history “.
His plan would offer down payment assistance to help more home buyers own their first homes and build wealth, and focus on zoning reform to allow more construction.
– Close to the family –
One of the most significant changes during the pandemic has been the increased demand for work-from-home opportunities with the closure of offices.
âHome sellers say their main reason for selling is to connect with friends and family,â Lautz said. âPeople really wanted their support system to surround them and needed it during the pandemic. “
Offshoring of employment as a reason for relocation fell to 7 percent from 11 percent.
She said she expects this trend to continue “because CEOs understand that if they want to retain talent, they may need to allow more flexibility in working from home.”
Another trend is the decline in the share of home buyers with children, which fell to 31% – the lowest on record, she said.
This changes priorities, as these buyers will be less concerned with issues such as schools or larger homes, which, for cash-strapped buyers, “will open up neighborhoods for them that would have been off-limits if they had had homes. children at home “.