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Despite Housing Recovery in US, Homeownership Rates among Communities of Color on Decline

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Published on : Oct 07, 2015

A recent report by CNBC revealed that housing starts in the United States went up to a high in nearly eight years, indicating that the housing sector is on a roll. The US Commerce Department stated that permits to construct new houses rose by 30 per cent in the month of June and groundbreaking on new homes shot up by 26.6 per cent in comparison with figures from a year ago. All of these indicators seem to point to the fact that now is the best time to own a home. 

However, several experts in community development have been focusing on another set of information. Homeownership rates have dropped to 63.7 per cent today from 69 per cent a decade ago. The highest decline was seen among blacks. Between the years 2005 and 2009, Latinos and blacks witnessed a drop in household wealth by 66 per cent and 52 per cent respectively, as against a fall of 16 per cent among the whites. Some of the worst hit metro areas in the US include Atlanta, where an astounding 35 per cent of the home owners are underwater. 

If the trends for minority wealth and homeownership do not change, it is highly likely that the housing market will stall. It is forecast that minorities by the end of 2025 will account for 36 per cent of the overall households in the United States and 46 per cent of that population will be between the ages of 25 and 45, a period during which first homes are most commonly purchased. If almost half of the population that conventionally becomes new home buyers are not served well in the market, builders, lenders, and nonprofit community developers need to look out for new ways of supporting the people in achieving their goals.