According to Zillow.com, in greater San Diego, Black-owned homes typically lag by 18.5% in value, while Latino-owned homes trail by 16%. Photo credit: Zillow.com

Typical values for Black- and Latino-owned homes still lag behind overall U.S. home values, but the gap continues to narrow, according to an industry report.

A new Zillow analysis shows homes owned by Black and Latino households are worth 16.2% and 10.2% less, respectively, than those of other U.S. homeowners.

The gaps, though, have closed by about four percentage points from their widest points following the Great Recession.

In the San Diego metropolitan area, Black-owned homes typically lag by 18.5% in value, while Latino-owned homes trail by 16%.

Riverside offered far narrower gaps. For Black families, home values fell off by just 1%, while values for Latino-owned homes dropped off by 4.5%.

While inequity in home values continues to persist, the data show them steadily, albeit slowly, converging. Since homeownership is the single largest driver of wealth for many households, the value and appreciation of a home can have a huge impact on a family’s prospects.

Before 2008’s Great Recession, prompted by the sub-prime mortgage crisis, the gap between Black-owned home values and all home values was about 15%. It grew to 20% by March 2014.

Similarly, Latino-owned homes saw a sizable gap in home values in May 2012 at 14% – two points larger than before the housing bubble.

Now, nearly a decade later, home values for Black- and Latinx-owned homes have returned to pre-bubble levels.

One reason for the wide gap is that the housing bust hit communities of color especially hard as subprime loans were targeted to take advantage of the most vulnerable communities.

After years of stagnation, growth in home values turned positive in the U.S. in August 2012, but it took an additional two years for Black and Latino homes to see this same change.

Zillow economist Treh Manhertz said that “the gap remains very large.” The pandemic could have presented a new hurdle, he said, but it hasn’t so far.

“With Black and brown communities and jobs hit disproportionately hard in the pandemic, there has been reason to worry another dip may be on the horizon that could slow or stop the progress,” Manhertz said.  “However, this is not the case, as the same factors that widened the gap in the Great Recession are not surfacing this time.”

He attributed the sustained gains to rock-bottom rates on the most secure mortgages, extended forbearance programs and rising home prices. He warned though that policymakers should keep watch “to keep the progress going for communities of color.”

Home value inequality varies greatly in different regions of the U.S. In a selection of cities in the West, the value of Black-owned homes trailed in:

  • Los Angeles, by 19%
  • Las Vegas, by 3%
  • Phoenix, 12.5%
  • Sacramento, 7.5%
  • San Francisco, by 22%
  • San Jose, by 9%

Meanwhile, in the same cities, the value of Latino-owned homes lagged in:

  • Los Angeles, by 24%
  • Las Vegas, by 10%
  • Phoenix, 19%
  • Sacramento, 6%
  • San Francisco,  19%
  • San Jose, by 23%

The most unequal metro area for Black communities was Detroit (46% value gap), while for Latinos it was Pittsburgh (28%).

– Staff reports

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