New report finds Minnesota's racial gap in home ownership growing


An annual snapshot of Minnesota's housing market finds the state's foreclosure crisis is about over. But an uneven recovery has made differences between neighborhoods and races even more stark.

WCCO reports the study by the Minnesota Home Ownership Center found that home prices are booming in some neighborhoods even as they remain depressed in others.

Moreover, the center's executive director, Julie Gugin, tells the station that while the home ownership rate is 73 percent among Minnesota's white households, communities of color in the state have some of America's lowest ownership rates.

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The Star Tribune says the state's widening racial gap is larger than it's been since 1990. As for foreclosures, they're back to their level of 2006 and 2013s statewide total was less than half the peak level of 2008.

The Home Ownership Center's report uses two Minneapolis neighborhoods to contrast the disparity of the recovery in housing prices. As of last year, a home purchased on the city's north side at the neighborhood's median price in 2006 would need to increase in value by 85 percent to return to that purchase price. Conversely, homes in southwest Minneapolis have already recovered all of the value they lost during the recession.

The new report shows that Minnesota's racial gap in home ownership worsening, but the existence of such a gap has already been noted and analyzed.

Last year as part of a report on housing and homelessness, the group Minnesota Compass wrote that factors contributing to the gap include disparities in income, access to credit, and racism.

In 2011 the University of Minnesota's Humphrey School of Public Affairs analyzed disparities in mortgage lending and home ownership. Their study found race was more influential than geographic location.

Separately on Tuesday, the Standard & Poor's Case-Schiller Home Price Index showed Twin Cities-area prices edged up 1 percent from February to March, the Star Tribune reports. Prices were 11.5 percent higher than in March of the previous year.

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