Black Homeownership Dying Where Obama Revitalized – Bloomberg 09-03-13

Salient to Investors:

For most Americans, the real estate crash is over and personal wealth is back where it was in the boom. For blacks, 18 years of economic progress has vanished, with a rebound in housing slipping further out of reach and the unemployment rate almost twice that of whites.

Black homeownership fell from 50 percent during the housing bubble to 43 percent in Q2 2013, the lowest since 1995. White homeownership is at 73 percent, only 3 percentage points below the 2004 peak.

A 2012 Center for Responsible Lending report said 1 in 10 black borrowers have lost their home to foreclosure, double the rate for whites

Paul Willen at FRB of Boston said if lenders don’t lend to minorities they’re accused of discrimination and when they do lend and there are foreclosures they’re accused of predatory lending. Willen said credit scores and other automated underwriting criteria help prevent discrimination by taking the loan officer’s judgment out of the transaction, but after 40 years of trying to judgment out of the equation, policymakers are trying to put it back in.

Applications for jumbo mortgages of at least $729,000 increased 59 percent in the first four months from a year earlier, but loans under $150,000 fell by 2.1 percent.

A 2011 Pew study found that the median wealth of white households was 20 times that of blacks and 18 times that of Hispanics, a record gap in data going back three decades and twice the pre-recession size.

Cheap properties are in short supply because they’re being purchased by flippers, private equity firms and other cash buyers.

Nationally, the median price rose 13.7 percent in July from a year earlier, nearly 1 in 3 properties were purchased with cash, and the share of first-time buyers is down to 29 percent versus an historical average of 40 percent.

Read the full article at  http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-09-03/black-homeownership-dying-where-obama-revitalized.html

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