Mortgages Are On The Rise In Detroit, But They’re Increasingly Going To White People As Black People Buy In The ‘Burbs

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Bridge Magazine has a fascinating new story out that finds that while mortgage activity in Detroit is steadily increasing after bottoming out during the Great Recession, the recovery isn’t mirroring Detroit’s population demographics. What’s more, there are still vast tracts of the city where mortgage activity is virtually nonexistent.

Despite making up just 10% of the city’s overall population, white people got almost half of all mortgages in Detroit in 2017, while black people, who comprise 80% of all Detroit residents, got 48% of all home loans. By comparison, black homeowners got three-quarters of all mortgages in the city in 2007.

Interestingly, the data show that black people are getting mortgages, just not in the city. They’re increasingly moving to suburbs like Southfield, Farmington, Warren and Eastpointe.

On today’s show, we speak with Mike Wilkinson, the Bridge Magazine reporter who wrote the story. We go deep on what the data tells us about what’s driving the trend, how some black people appear to be giving up on Detroit and whether the trend of rising numbers of white homeowners is sustainable, given the city’s many endemic problems.

It’s a fascinating story with lots of different narratives to untangle, and you should go read it. Then, listen to this episode in the player above.

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