Homes owned by Black families appreciated more than any others since the start of the pandemic, with the typical Black homeowner gaining nearly $84,000 in equity. Black Americans also made slight gains in homeownership rates, despite disproportionate job and income loss.
The gap between the typical Black home owners’ value and the value of the typical U.S. home is now the smallest it’s been in more than two decades, according to a new analysis of data from Zillow and the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act.
“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,” said Nicole Bachaud, senior economist at Zillow. “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, Black homeowners saw their home values increase 42.5%, compared to 38.5% for U.S. home values overall, and 37.8% for white-owned home values. Hispanic and Asian-owned home values increased by 38.3% and 37%, respectively.
Home value appreciation among Black homeowners has outpaced all other races since 2014, and that trend accelerated at the start of the pandemic, further shrinking the home value gap. In February 2020, the typical Black-owned home was worth 17.3% less than the typical home overall. By January 2023, that gap closed to 14.8%, which is the closest Black-owned home values have been to overall values since at least the year 2000.
Among the 50 largest metros in the country, that home value gap has shrunk the most in Detroit — by 9 percentage points — since February 2020. Kansas City, Chicago, Cleveland, Milwaukee and Louisville, among other markets, also saw large improvements, with the gap closing by more than 5 percentage points in that time.
In 2021, the latest available data from the Census Bureau, 44% of Black households owned their homes, compared with 73.3% of white households — a gap of more than 29 points.
According to the most recent Census Bureau data, Black homeownership increased 2 percentage points from 2019 to 2021, compared to 1.3% for the nation at large. Black women ages 45 to 54 and 75 and older saw the largest increase among Black homeowners during the pandemic, with 2.9 percentage points of growth. Black men ages 35 to 44 saw a 2.5 percentage-point jump in homeownership rate over that period, the second-largest increase in the group.
Still, for many Black Americans, barriers to accessing homeownership abound. Many markets with the highest appreciation in Black home values also have the highest mortgage denial rates for Black applicants, meaning the markets where Black homeowners have the best chance of improving their household wealth and gaining equity with homeowners overall are markets where it’s most difficult for Black mortgage applicants to actually become homeowners.