April 12, 2017 (STLRealEstate.News) National real estate trends are pointing to final recoveries from the detrimental Great Recession of 2008. Memphis is apart of the revival, with average home sale prices recently hitting an all-time high, having many excited about the future and prospects for the Memphis housing market. But, even as the city seems poised to move forward and finally forget about the woes of the past, there is one piece to the puzzle that is missing – and in a big way.
Home-ownership across the board is at a 30-year low today and Memphis, and African-American homeowners remain 20 points below average, according to data compiled by the U.S. Census Bureau. These same figures also indicate that while home-ownership rates for non-Hispanic whites is more than 72 percent, for African-American households, that number is lower than 42 percent.
“It’s just a combination of things that are issues within our community in regards to home-ownership,” said William Mitchell, a long-time Crye-Leike Realtor who works with the NAREB and a number of local community organizations. “I’m not trying to say that it’s a horrible thing, it’s just so much better than it was give years ago, but we’re just slowly inching here.”
In order to move the inching pace up a bit, NAREB recently launched a 2 Million New Black Homeowners initiative designed to increase the number of African-American homeowners by 2 million over the next five years.
“Lacking African-American home ownership is undoubtedly a national issue that requires more attention from organizations. We need to be doing a better job of explaining the benefits of home-ownership and how to work towards owning a home at each point in our lives,” said Mitchell.
If the NAREB program meets its goal, it will equate to a $500 billion increase in accumulated African-American wealth over the next five years.