Homeowners in minority communities are struggling to regain ground lost in the crash, considerably more so than those in white communities, according to a recently released analysis by Zillow. In the third quarter of 2016, communities where the majority of residents are black held a 20 percent negative equity rate, while communities where the majority of residents are Hispanic held a 12 percent negative equity rate—both above the national rate of 10.9 percent.
“Negative equity is not an equal opportunity offender, with certain markets still being more affected than others,” says Zillow Chief Economist Dr. Svenja Gudell. “Our previous research has shown that negative equity is more concentrated among less expensive homes, and now we know that it is also more prevalent in minority neighborhoods than in white communities, which are also trailing in the overall housing recovery. These gaps can and will have long-lasting implications for growth and equality.”
Homeowners in negative equity have limited options, often in limbo while their homes remain off-market—a factor exacerbating the nationwide inventory squeeze, according to Zillow’s analysis. Lower-valued homes generally comprise the starter home market, which, as Trulia recently reported, saw a 12.1 percent decline in inventory last year, resulting in price pressure for starter homebuyers.
Black and Hispanic homeowners are also at a disadvantage when it comes to being approved for a mortgage. Another recent analysis by Zillow shows 22.4 percent of black borrowers and 17.3 percent of Hispanic borrowers were denied conventional loans in 2015, of the 10.4 percent of all conventional loan applications denied that year. The disparity exists even though black and Hispanic populations hold homeownership in higher regard as it relates to the American Dream than white and Asian populations.
The homeownership rate among black households has dropped from its record-high 49.1 percent in 2004 to 41.3 percent today, according to a report by the Pew Research Center, while the rate among Hispanic households has dropped from its record-high 49.7 percent in 2007 to 47.0 percent.
The trend in negative equity is present in at least the top three metropolitan areas, according to Zillow’s most recent analysis. In New York, N.Y., the third quarter negative equity rate was 10.0 percent, while the negative equity rate in black communities was 13.9 percent and the negative equity rate in Hispanic communities was 20.6 percent; the negative equity rate for white communities was 8.8 percent. In Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, Calif., the third quarter negative equity rate was 5.7 percent, while the negative equity rate in Hispanic communities was 7.0 percent and the negative equity rate in white communities was 4.3 percent. In Chicago, Ill., the third quarter negative equity rate was 17.0 percent, while the negative equity rate in black communities was 28.2 percent and the negative equity rate in Hispanic communities was 22.8 percent; the negative equity rate in white communities was 13.8 percent.
For more information, please visit www.zillow.com.
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