Temporal and Ethnic Decompositions of Homeownership Rates: Synthetic Cohorts Across Five Censuses PDF

Homeownership is widely seen as an indicator of social well-being. It is a mechanism for wealth accumulation, and there is some evidence that it creates positive externalities through increased maintenance, increased volunteerism and citizenship, and improved outcomes for children. There is also evidence that such externalities are actually priced in the market for neighboring properties which suggests that these beneficial externalities have value in the marketplace. Therefore, the fact that homeownership probabilities differ systematically across ethnic groups is cause for concern. The four ethnic groups are labeled, despite the inaccuracy that sometimes is inherent in such labels, as white, black, Hispanic and Asian. Three facts are evident: (1) Homeownership rates are rising for all four ethnic groups over time,with the exception of the early dip in the Hispanic rate, and the overall downward trend from 1980 to 1990 (2) the Homeownership rates of black, Hispanic and Asian households lag behind that of white households; (3) the relative lagging of these three non-white groups changes over time. In 1960, Hispanics had ownership rates well above those of blacks, but by 1980 the situation was reversed, while Asian households by the same decade had moved ahead of both Hispanics and blacks.

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