BAM Key Details:
- A new Zillow report shows record appreciation for Black-owned homes during the pandemic, shrinking the home value race gap to its smallest in more than two decades.
- The typical home owned by Black families has a market value of 14.8% less than that of the typical U.S. home.
- Among Black homeowners, Black women accounted for the largest recent increase in homeownership rates.
The gap between typical Black-owned home values and the typical U.S. home values has shrunken to its smallest in more than two decades—from 17.3% in February 2020 to 14.8% by January 2023.
Here’s what you need to know.
Property values grew the fastest for Black-owned homes
During the pandemic, the typical Black homeowner saw the value of their home appreciate more quickly than any others, adding nearly $84,000 in home equity.
Homeownership among Black Americans also grew, despite disproportionate income and job loss. According to a new Zillow analysis, the gap between property values for the typical Black-owned home and the typical U.S. home is now the smallest it’s been in over two decades.
These gains are extremely important in terms of increasing wealth among the Black community, as homeowners of color are more likely to have the bulk of their household wealth tied up in their homes. Due to years of redlining and other forms of systemic discrimination, housing disparities between Black and white families persist. Policies and interventions like expanding access to credit, building more affordable homes and finding new approaches to mitigate appraisal bias are keys to achieving housing equity.
From February 2020 to January 2023, home values for Black homeowners increased 42.5%, compared to—
- 38.5% for U.S. home values overall
- 38.3% for Hispanic-owned home values
- 37.8% for white-owned home values
- 37% for Asian-owned homes values
That increase amounts to an $84,000 bump in home equity for the typical Black homeowner during this period.
And since a primary residence accounts for more than two-thirds of household wealth for Black homeowners, on average, that represents a substantial increase in personal wealth.
Considering the typical Black mortgage owner put down a 3.5% down payment—or roughly $6,900 on the typical home purchased in February 2020—that amounts to a massive 1,114% return on investment as of January 2023.
At the height of the homebuyer frenzy in the summer of 2021, Black home values reached 21.1% annual appreciation, compared to 19.1% overall.
This acceleration in home value growth helped improve the ratio of Black home values to overall home values from 82.7% in February 2020 to 85.2% in January 2023.
Appreciation for Black-owned home values has outpaced home values for all other races since 2014. During the pandemic, that trend sped up, further shrinking the home value race gap.
In February 2020, the typical Black-owned home had a market value of 17.3% less than that of the typical U.S. home. By January 2023, the gap had shrunken to 14.8%, which is its smallest since at least the year 2000.
Black-owned home value appreciation by region
Among the 50 largest U.S. metros, the home value gap between Black-owned homes and U.S. homes overall has shrunk the most in Detroit—a metro that has struggled with the lasting effects of redlining and its impact on homeownership and home values for Black Americans.
Black-owned homes grew in value by 51.7%, and the ratio of Black home values to home values overall has increased by 9%.
Other Midwest markets—including Kansas City, Chicago, Cleveland, Milwaukee, and Louisville—also saw big improvements, with the gap shrinking by more than 5% between February 2020 and January 2023.
The West Coast did not see the same progress. With its smaller share of Black residents and more expensive property values, the gap between Black home values and home values overall has widened in this region since the start of the pandemic.
In San Francisco, for example, where only about 8% of the population is Black, the ratio of Black home values to home values overall dropped 3.6% since February 2020.
Most of the markets seeing a decrease in this ratio—and a widening of the home value gap—are those where homes are more expensive and where pandemic price increases had the biggest impact on housing affordability.
Black women saw the biggest uptick in homeownership rates
According to the newest available data from the U.S. Census Bureau, 44% of Black households owned their homes in 2021—compared with 73.3% of white households, resulting in a gap of more than 29 points.
The same data shows a 2% increase in Black homeownership from 2019 to 2021, compared to 1.3% for the U.S. overall.
Black women of ages 45-54 and 75+ saw the steepest increase in homeownership rates during the pandemic, with 2.9% growth. The second largest group, Black men of ages 35-44, saw a 2.5% jump in homeownership.
That improvement in Black homeownership rates during the pandemic positively correlates with the increase in the ratio of Black home values to home values overall.
Homeowners in areas with a faster-growing Black homeownership rate are more likely to have seen an increase in their home equity between February 2020 and January 2023—a positive outcome for these homeowners and their communities.
Barriers to homeownership for Black Americans
Many Black Americans still face obstacles to homeownership. Many of the markets with the highest appreciation in home values for Black homeowners also have the highest mortgage denial rates for Black applicants.
So, the markets where Black homeowners stand the best chance of growing their household wealth and gaining equity are also markets where it’s most difficult to obtain the financing they need to become homeowners.
Improving access to traditional financial services—an area where communities of color are, in general, and to varying extents, underserved—can help broaden credit access, reducing mortgage denials and helping to shrink the racial homeownership gap.
Resources like down payment assistance can be of great help in removing the down payment barrier and making homeownership more accessible.
Top takeaways for real estate agents
While the numbers in Zlilow’s report show some progress in improving Black homeownership and household wealth, there’s still room for plenty more. Do what you can to level the playing field and help underserved home buyers in their area.
For example, keep information on down payment assistance programs handy for any clients or prospects who ask about it or who express doubts as to their ability to afford one. Your goal, after all, is to leave each client better off than before.
Give every client a reason to be grateful they chose you as their agent.
Do your research into any available resources for underserved home buyers in your market. And if a client or prospect asks a question you don’t know the answer to, find it.