Hispanic Communities Were Hit Hardest By The Housing Bubble And Bust

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Hispanic communities were hit hardest by the housing boom and subsequent crash, according to a new analysis from Zillow.

Home values in areas where Hispanics are the biggest share of the population saw home values fall 46.2 percent from the height of the bubble to the bottom of the bust. Black communities were also hit hard, with values dropping 32.3 percent. Whites, on the other hand, saw a drop of 23.6 percent, and Asians experienced a 19.9 percent decline.

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The good news is that Hispanic communities have bounced back the fastest, climbing 25.3 percent from the bottom. Asians are also now in “full recovery,” the report notes. Black communities, on the other hand, have seen just a 13.2 percent increase in home values over the past two years.

The housing crash had disproportionate impacts on people of color in other ways. The percentage of black and Hispanic homeowners affected by foreclosure was nearly twice as high as that of whites in 2011. That came after banks and other lenders disproportionately pushed predatory loans on borrowers of color, selling them on higher-priced subprime loans instead of prime loans, which could often add more than $100,000 in interest payments over the lifetime of the loans. Just 17.8 percent of white borrowers had these subprime loans, compared to about 40 percent of black and Hispanic borrowers. This was a big factor in the doubling of the wealth gap between blacks and whites, as blacks lost so much of the wealth they had stored in the value of their homes.

The Zillow analysis also shows that today, blacks and Hispanics are much more likely than whites to have an application for a mortgage denied. Black applicants are 2.4 times as likely to be denied, and Hispanic applicants are 1.98 times as likely. Similar patterns hold true when they apply for FHA (Federal Housing Administration) loans. The report notes that the figures may not represent pure discrimination, as blacks and Hispanics have lower average incomes and credit scores than whites or Asians. “There is not sufficient information in the HMDA data nor in the survey data to determine if any of the findings in this report reflect illegal discrimination,” it notes.

But other forms of housing discrimination still plague communities of color. Today, black and Asian prospective home buyers with similar backgrounds are shown fewer homes by realtors than whites. Latino homebuyers are similarly shown fewer options while also experiencing more hostility and being quoted higher fees.