Minority Homeownership Rate Drops in 1st Quarter of 2019

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In the first quarter of 2019 the U.S. homeownership rate stood at 64.2%, unchanged from its level during the same time last year, but slightly down from the fourth quarter of 2018 (64.8%), according to the latest data from the U.S. Census Bureau. The "all minority" homeownership rate, which includes black, Hispanic, and Other households (Asian, Pacific-Islander, Native American, and other race households) stood at 47.1% in the first quarter of 2019, down from 48%t in the first quarter of 2018. It also slipped from its level in the fourth quarter of 2018 (47.7%). A further breakdown of the all minority homeownership rate shows that all groups lost ground in the first quarter compared to the same period last year (Figure 2). The black non-Hispanic rate fell by the most, dropping 1.3 percentage points to 41.8%. The Hispanic homeownership rate fell by one percentage point to 47.4%, while the Other non-Hispanic homeownership rate fell 0.7 percentage points to 56.3%. In contrast, the white non-Hispanic household rate gained 0.7 percentage points in the year ending in the first quarter to reach 73.2%. Home prices have appreciated significantly in recent years while incomes gains have grown at a slower pace, which has exacerbated housing affordability. This challenge is particularly true for minority households – from 2016 to 2018 all minority groups had slower income growth rates than white non-Hispanic households. Eroding affordability, along with the fact that larger shares of the youngest generations are comprised of minorities, puts downward pressure on the overall homeownership rate. NAHB economist Carmel Ford provides more analysis in this Eye on Housing blog post.

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