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African American families are being squeezed out of the housing market, and it’s getting worse

African American families are being squeezed out of the housing market, and it’s getting worse
[Photo: Cosmic Timetraveler/Unsplash; janeb13/Pixabay]

Buying an affordable home isn’t easy for the typical African American family, according to new data from Redfin.

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The median family could afford just 25% of homes for sales last year, a significant decrease since 2012, when it was 39%.

The news is even worse when you look at major metropolitan areas around the U.S., which have seen drops as big as 30 percentage points. Redfin, a Seattle-based real-estate brokerage, found that there wasn’t any metro area in the country where a median African American household had a comfortable amount of money to buy at least 50% of the homes on the market in 2018. This compares to 13 metro areas in 2012.

[Image: courtesy of Redfin]
The five most affordable metro areas for African American homebuyers, as identified by Redfin’s data, are Memphis; Atlanta; San Antonio, Texas; Columbus, Ohio; and Louisville, Ohio.

The five least affordable are Portland, Oregon; Los Angeles; San Diego; San Francisco; and San Jose.

“Home prices have risen 70 percent since the beginning of the housing crash recovery in 2012,” Redfin chief economist Daryl Fairweather said on the company website. “African-Americans, who were disproportionately affected by the housing crash in 2008 have found it much harder to get back into homeownership, especially as prices skyrocketed out of budget. Since there continues to be a shortage of homes at affordable price points, the future doesn’t bode well for African Americans who aspire to be homeowners without a government effort for change.”

Redfin said it used this calculation to determine affordability: a downpayment of 20%, an interest rate of 4.54% for 2018 and 3.35% for 2012, and a monthly mortgage payment no higher than 30% of gross income.

The brokerage used data from the U.S. Census Bureau and Freddie Mac.

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