When it comes to minorities and home ownership, new data out shows that there are significant disparities between different racial groups around what is usually the largest asset a person or family has — owning a home.
The data, culled from U.S. Census data and other sources and compiled by the real estate site Abodo, paint a very interesting picture.
It’s one of the most clear numbers that illustrates wealth inequality. Nationally, 63% of Americans own homes.
Whites in America have the highest rate of home ownership. This plays out locally as well. 78% of the white population owns home here in Metro Detroit, compared to a national average of 71.3%.
When you dig deeper, more details start to emerge.
One is that Hispanic home ownership far outpaces the national average in Metro Detroit. Nearly 59.7% of Hispanics own a home in Metro Detroit. That’s far above the 45.6% nationally.
African Americans haven’t fared so well. Only 40% — nearly the half of of whites — own their own home. That’s also slightly below the national average of 41%. Both nationally and locally, the wealth gap is large between African Americans and the rest of the country.
The percentage of Asian home owners (57.4%) is also slightly behind the national average (58.5%), but closer to the white average.
“When analyzed specifically by the largest minority groups in the country, the breakdown of home owners is very interesting in Detroit. Clearly, all across the country, including Detroit, home ownership among minorities is far behind the home ownership rates of white people,” said Sam Radbill of Abodo.
When minorities do own homes, there are still differences. The median value of a minority-owned home in Detroit is $90,000 while for the region as a whole it is $142,700.
The number of minority renters of all races is also high in Detroit.
“When it comes to minority home ownership in Detroit, the metro area ranks No. 76 among all cities in the U.S. In Detroit, 44.7% of minorities own homes, while the other 55.3% are renters,” said Radbill.
Don’t Forget Detroit’s Hispanic Community
It’s often ignored by mainstream media, but at least in the city of Detroit, the one population group that grew during some of Detroit’s most challenging times were Hispanics.
History & Context Matters
It’s important to acknowledge the Detroit area as a whole has a long history of segregationist housing policies. From Grosse Pointe’s point system that enforced racial and religious restrictions; to subdivision deeds with racist covenants that only stopped being enforced a couple decades ago; to the impact of Federal policy where white veterans after World War II received home loans while minorities did not. The after effects of these actions and divisions have had real impact for generations.
We even have a wall that was built to keep black and white neighborhoods apart so that financing could happen for new suburban homes.