NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis


May 14, 2009

Minorities in the United States increased their levels of homeownership at a faster clip than whites during the recent housing boom, according to a new report, and narrowed the ownership gap with the majority despite taking a bigger hit during the subsequent bust.

An analysis by the Pew Hispanic Center found that African-Americans, Hispanics and Asians in the United States are much more likely to own a home now than at any time in the past:

  • As of 2008, 48.9 percent of all Hispanic heads of households owned a home, up from 41.9 percent in 1995.
  • During the same period, black homeownership climbed to 47.5 percent from 42.1 percent.
  • Among Asians -- who raised their homeownership level faster than any other group -- 59.1 percent owned a home last year compared with 49.1 percent in 1995.
  • Homeownership among whites stood at 74.9 percent in 2008, up from 70.5 percent in 1995.

"At the end of the day, minorities are still much better off now than in 1995, if measured by homeownership," said Rakesh Kochhar, lead author of the study, which used housing, economic and demographic data from the U.S. Census Bureau, among other sources.

One of the report's most startling findings, Kochhar said, was that immigrants were affected less by the recent downturn in homeownership than were native-born minorities.  Though immigrants remain less likely than native-born Americans to be homeowners, their homeownership level during the recent housing bust fell only modestly.  Immigrants' homeownership reached 52.9 percent in 2008, a slight decline from its peak 53.3 percent in 2006.  That rate was 46.5 percent in 1995.

Source: Miriam Jordan, "Housing Boom Aided Minorities; Homeownership Reached Record Levels, Narrowing the Gap With Whites," Wall Street Journal, May 13, 2009.

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