Forum: Addressing Growing Gaps in Homeownership Opportunities

Demographic shifts along generational, racial and socioeconomic lines are impacting the housing market, emphasizing growing gaps in homeownership opportunities. These shifts, to be addressed at Zillow®’s economic forum this month in Washington, D.C., include the higher denial rates of black mortgage applicants and the growing number of young adults living at home.

The homeownership rate among black Americans, especially, has remained lower than the national homeownership for 100 years, according to Zillow research. Seventy-two percent of white Americans owned their home in 2016, compared to 41 percent of black Americans. Black Americans are also denied mortgages at a higher rate than other races, and more than twice the rate of white Americans.

The share of young adults (age 18-34) living at home with their parents, in addition, has exploded in the last decade, despite the fact that they want to own homes. The share of older millennials (age 26-34) living at home has grown from 12.9 percent in 2012 to 14.5 percent. The median price of their first home has also grown, by about one-quarter.

Home values in metropolitan areas with the most social mobility, as well, have grown, placing roadblocks in front of those with lower incomes. Affordability is worst for those with low incomes, even in areas with low home prices: the bottom third income-earners spend twice as much of their income on mortgage payments than the top third, with those in the costliest markets spending more than half.

“Our research on housing has unlocked issues that are closely linked to broader social and economic problems in the U.S., such as poor access to credit, weak income growth, and social mobility,” says Zillow Chief Economist Dr. Svenja Gudell. “This forum brings together some of the greatest minds in economic policy and research to explore the troubling disparities in economic opportunity. We will focus on how different generational, racial, and socioeconomic groups are affected, specifically in their access to housing and homeownership. I look forward to a discussion that gets to the heart of the issues that we at Zillow spend so much time thinking about.”

The forum, which will feature a number of experts discussing data and proposed policy solutions, will take place on Wednesday, Jan. 11 at the Newseum in Washington, D.C.

For more information, please visit www.zillow.com.

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