2020 overall has been a challenge for Black people in America. The pandemic’s toll on Black Americans has been destructive. Paired with the ongoing racial injustice African Americans face, the tragic loss of icons and loved ones, the year has been rough to say the least.
A new report by CNN shows that in spite of the turmoil of the year, Black millennials fueled overall home ownership growth for African Americans.
The National Association of Realtors and the National Association of Real Estate Brokers report that first-time Black Millennials purchased the bulk of homes in 2020 as many left cities amid the pandemic.
According to a Census data, Black adults aged 26-39 raised overall home ownership for Black Americans by two percent during the first three quarters of the year.
A November analysis by the National Association of Realtors also shows that five percent of people who purchased a home during the same time frame were Black. That's one percentage point higher from last year.
“Without a doubt, African American Millennials are participating in this home-buying surge, Lawrence Yun, an economist for the National Association of Realtors told CNN.
“The fact that Black home [purchases] are much higher now compared to before the pandemic is quite a surprise,” he added.
This rise in Black home ownership comes after a three percent rise in 2019, despite the economic impact on Black communities. Yun and other economists suggest that for those who were doing well before the pandemic and were able to keep their jobs are thriving.
Reduced personal spending, low mortgage rates, and a renewed cultural shift to Black wealth building all attributed to the home purchasing rise, and real estate and economy experts expect the trend to carry through 2021.
Economists and realtors warn that the rise in home buying by Black millennials is not representative of the economic standing for all Black Americans. The pandemic’s economic toll has wrecked communities and left many jobless, or risking their lives in essential worker roles, often without hazard wages.
With federal forbearance programs and pandemic unemployment insurance set to expire at the end of the year, many are concerned where that will leave Black homeowners who have been laid off during the pandemic.
Jung Hyun Choi, a research associate with the Urban Institute told CNN, “If the labor market doesn’t recover and people fail to pay back bills before the [forbearance] period ends, it’s very likely home ownership in the Black community will drop significantly.”
Photo: Getty Images