The National Association of Real Estate Brokers (NAREB) is cautiously encouraged about the U.S. Census Bureau’s third quarter 2019 Black homeownership rate of 42.7% up from 40.6% in the previous quarter. While all of the homeownership rates increased during this latest reporting period, the Black homeownership increase of 2.1% represented the largest uptick. In the bigger picture, NAREB is mindful that Black homeownership currently and continues to lag more than 30 percentage points behind the non-Hispanic White homeownership rate of 73.4%, higher than the recorded gap at the time of the passage of the 1968 Fair Housing Act.
Robust seasonal home purchase activity during the summer months generally accounts for the overall increases in all ethnic and general market categories. I am hopeful, however, that the boots-on-the-ground approach of NAREB and other homeownership advocates will continue to support an upward trend of Black homeownership rates into the fourth quarter 2019 and beyond.
We know and take into consideration the volatility of the real estate marketplace and the prevailing purchasing distrust that runs alongside economic vagaries particularly in the Black community. Nevertheless, I remain confident that concerted efforts to educate and inform Black homebuyers about the wealth building aspects of homeownership versus uncertain and rising rental rates, will prevail.