Will Recent Homebuying Trends Intensify Racial Wealth Gaps?

Data show Black and Latino residents increasingly purchasing in unstable Gateway City neighborhoods

Published Date : September 28, 2020
Author(s) : Ben Forman and Abraham Reiss

This research brief documents changing homebuying trends by race and ethnicity using Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) lending data and a neighborhood conditions index constructed with Census figures. Findings build on previous MassINC research, which documented the need for state-level policy to provide Gateway Cities with resources and assistance carrying out comprehensive neighborhood stabilization activities.

Key Findings

    • Black and Latino homebuying rebounded after the Great Recession, but significant racial and ethnic disparities in mortgage origination rates remain, with persistently lower rates for Black buyers.
    • Between 2007 and 2017, Massachusetts saw sharp declines in the share of Black and Latino residents purchasing homes in Boston and roughly proportional increases among Black and Latino buyers in Gateway Cities.
    • Between 2010 and 2017, one out of four Black buyers and 30 percent of Latino buyers made purchases in neighborhoods vulnerable to decline. Within Gateway Cities, Black and Latino buyers were twice as likely as White Gateway City buyers to purchase in at-risk neighborhoods