The University of Southern California's Lusk Center for Real Estate has put a new spin on racial disparity in homeownership levels following a study of blacks, whites, Latinos, and Asians in Los Angeles County. The research concluded that, given the same education and income backgrounds as whites and Asians, Hispanics would produce similar rates of homeownership. For whites and blacks with comparable education and income, however, a gap in homeownership levels persisted.
Although researchers conceded that discrimination may have had some influence on the lower rates among minorities, they found that the differential remains largely unexplained. "One possibility is that blacks may feel they are limited in their housing choices, given the relatively limited number of predominantly black or integrated neighborhoods in Los Angeles County," surmised Lusk Center director Stuart Gabriel, who helped write the report. "With fewer housing choices, blacks may be more inclined to rent than to buy."
He also suggested that fewer black homeowners in Los Angeles County could indicate selective movement of younger black households to surrounding counties.
Source: Business Wire (10/22/01)