*Although reports and studies often highlight the many financial challenges hampering African Americans, there’s still been a sizable increase of black homeownership throughout the country in recent months. This development is a positive turnaround from an earlier report in 2019 that revealed much lower percentages of blacks in the financial position to buy homes.
Of course, things could change quickly as the world continues to grapple with the rapid spread and economic impact of COVID-19. But if authorities can get a handle on the virus and mitigate its threat to the global economy, trends in black homeownership will hopefully keep rising.
Reports in the home-ownership rate for African-Americans show an increasing number are becoming homeowners, with the homeownership rate for black households jumping 3.4 percentage points over the second half of 2019, bringing it from a three-decade low to back near historic averages.
The Washington region is among those leading the pack.
The black home-ownership rate has experienced its share of ups and downs in the past half-century – gains during the last half of the 20th century, then an outsized drop during the mid-2000s housing bust before recent signs of a bounceback.
The rate of homeownership for black households rose from 41.6 percent in 1970 to a peak of 46.5 percent in 2007. But homeowners of color were hit the hardest during the recession, and, by 2016, the black homeownership rate had plummeted all the way below 1970 levels.
2019, 44 percent of black households owned their home, an increase from lows hit during 2016 but still below the 2007 peak.
Across the U.S., the black home-ownership rate lags behind that of non-black households in each of the 45 large metros included in this analysis, but it now sits above its mid-decade average in more than half. This rate has grown the most since mid-decade in Sacramento (+7.8 percentage points), Phoenix (+5.4) and Orlando (+5.3) .
And in some cases, the rate of growth in the black home-ownership rate has exceeded that of all other households since mid-decade, meaning the deficit is shrinking. Black households have closed the gap the most in Sacramento (6.5 percentage points closer), Orlando (4.1) and Cincinnati (3.2).
The large metros with the highest black homeownership rates are Birmingham (52.2 percent), Washington D.C. (51.4 percent), Richmond (49.9 percent) and Atlanta (48.2 percent).