WASHINGTON Jan 16 The rise and fall of U.S.
home values during the housing bubble and bust
disproportionately affected black and Hispanic homeowners, real
estate website Zillow said in a study released on Thursday.
Hispanic communities were hit hardest by the collapse of the
real estate market, with home values in those neighborhoods
falling an average of 46 percent from the height of the bubble
to the bottom.
Communities where blacks were the predominant group saw
values drop 32 percent during the same period.
In contrast, white and Asian communities saw drops of 24
percent and 20 percent respectively.
The research shows that "minority home buyers are
encountering difficulties that often aren't shared by white home
buyers," said Stan Humphries, Zillow chief economist.
U.S. home prices dropped more than 30 percent from their
mid-2006 peak to the bottom in 2012. Fast-rising property values
have helped solidify the sector's recovery.
"Even after they achieve the dream, they have been less
likely to see a similar return on their investment," Humphries
said of black and Hispanic communities.
While home values in Hispanic communities suffered a bigger
setback than prices in other groups, they have been relatively
faster to recover. Home values in those communities have
increased about 25 percent from the bottom over the past two
years, compared with a 13 percent rebound in black communities,
the study found.
The research, done with the National Urban League, was
mainly based on data collected by the government from lenders
under the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act. Zillow also used their
own home price index and information obtained from an Ipsos
The study shows that blacks and Hispanics are less likely to
apply for a mortgage to make a home purchase in the first place,
and much less likely to be approved for one than whites and
While blacks make up 12 percent of the U.S. population, they
filed only 6 percent of all mortgage purchase applications in
2012. Hispanics account for 17 percent of the population, and
filed 9 percent of the applications in the same year. Whites,
representing 63 percent of the population, filed almost 65
percent of applications.
Zillow said that Hispanics and blacks were also more likely
to apply for Federal Housing Administration loans than for
conventional loans. More than half of black applicants, about 57
percent, and 60 percent of Hispanic applicants applied for an
In contrast, less than one-third of white applicants applied
for an FHA loan.
During the housing bust, homeowners not only lost an
enormous amount of wealth invested in their properties, but
millions lost their home to foreclosure.
The homeownership rate in 2011 among black communities is
the lowest, according to Zillow, at 47 percent - while it is
about 51 percent for Hispanics, 74 percent for whites, and 61
percent for Asian groups.