Report: Large race gaps persist in home ownership rates in Denver metro

DENVER – As America’s cities grow more diverse, disparities in home ownership between races haven’t changed much over the years and in some cases have gotten worse, according to a new report from ApartmentList.

While white Americans account for nearly 62 percent of U.S. households, they make up nearly 75 percent of homeowners in the country, the site’s analysts found. More than 64 percent of white Americans of “prime working age” – defined as ages 25 to 54 – own homes while just under a third of black Americans do. And that rate continues to drop.

ApartmentList compiled its report using census data from 2000 to 2015, tracking changes in homeownership based on race, education level and income. Overall, analysts found that the race gap narrowed somewhat nationwide, but not every group saw gains.

In Denver, the overall home ownership race gap narrowed by 1.8 percent during that 15-year time frame to an average of 18.6 percent – the 16th smallest gap among the country’s 50 biggest metro areas. But that gap widened for black and Asian Denverites, by 7 and 3 percent, respectively. It narrowed by 3 percent for Hispanics and 14 percent for “other” groups, according to ApartmentList.

Home ownership rates in metro Denver in 2015 were 63.7 percent for white households, 48.3 percent for Asian households, 47.4 percent for Hispanic households and 29.1 percent for black households.

Some of the home ownership gap can be explained by differences in education levels – there’s a 15-percentage-point difference in home ownership rates between those with a college degree and those with a high school diploma. On average, more than 42 percent of whites have at least a bachelor’s degree, while just 25.1 percent of blacks and 18.2 percent of Hispanics have the same level of education. Nearly 68 percent of Asian-Americans have at least a bachelor’s degree.

However, the gap in home ownership persists even when you take education out of the picture. ApartmentList found that home ownership rates for minorities with college degrees are lower than those of white Americans with only a high school education and black Americans have the lowest home ownership rates at all education levels.

Compare ownership rates for those who never graduated from high school: At that level of education, about 45 percent of whites nationwide own homes while only 15.3 percent of blacks do.

ApartmentList’s report lists Denver as the 17th least diverse metro area in the country, with a “prime working age” population that is 67.5 percent white, 5.8 percent black, 19.5 percent Hispanic, 4.4 percent Asian and 2.9 percent who identify as “other.”

Overall, ApartmentList found a strong correlation between diversity and the race gap, with more diverse cities generally having smaller discrepancies between races than those that aren’t as diverse.

Read the full report at apartmentlist.com.

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