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Blacks in the US still pay more than others for home ownership - MIT study

A protester speaks to a crowd in Raleigh, North Carolina, US, during unrest following the death in police custody of George Floyd. The protests have spread around the world, including SA.
A protester speaks to a crowd in Raleigh, North Carolina, US, during unrest following the death in police custody of George Floyd. The protests have spread around the world, including SA.
Image: REUTERS/Jonathan Drake

NEW YORK - Americans still pay more than any other group to own a home, a disparity that over 30 years contributes to roughly half the current $130,000 (R2.2-million) gap between Blacks and whites in savings at retirement, a recent Massachusetts Institute of Technology shows.

The annual difference of $743 (R12 000) in mortgage interest payments, $550 (R9 150) in mortgage insurance premiums and $390 (R6 488) in property taxes, when invested over 30 years results in lost retirement savings of $67,320  (R1 119 996) for Black homeowners, according to the study called "The Unequal Costs of Black Homeownership."

These inequities make it impossible for black households to build housing wealth at the same rate as white households, said the study, whose lead author, Edward Golding, is executive director of the MIT Golub Center for Finance and Policy.

Black homeowners on average have lower credit scores and lower down payments, largely rooted in past discriminatory policies and practices, making them disproportionately disadvantaged by risk-based pricing, the study found.

Golding, a former head of the Federal Housing Administration, said in a statement that "mortgages costs are determined by markets to some extent," but "there is a great deal of public policy that influences these rates especially as it impacts people of color." 

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