In a recent New York Times article, the headline screams: “home ownership losses are greatest among minorities”. Given that African and Hispanic Americans were more likely to get subprime loans during the housing heyday up to 2006, you would think they would be the most negatively impacted by more recent foreclosures and more stringent mortgage approval standards.
In reviewing the research conducted by the Pew Research Center that the Times used to reach this conclusion, it does not appear that the news is as bad as the headline purports. Overall home ownership reached a peak of 69% in 2004 and declined to 67.8% in 2008. During the same time period, whites fell from 76.1% to 74.9%, Asians 60.8% to 59.1%, Blacks 49.4% to 47.5%, and Hispanics 49.8% to 48.9%. While home ownership rates declined more than the average for Asian and African Americans, the differences were marginal. And Hispanic declines were less than average, especially for more recent immigrants.
That said, the future does not look bright. African and Hispanic Americans are still two or three times more likely to get a subprime loan, pay 3 percentage points more for it, and borrow more for the same income levels when compared to whites.
This could lead to another foreclosure crisis, and we are still feeling the effects of the last one. But lets not jump the gun by making things sound worse than they really are today.
Ethnicmajority housing page.