Statement by President Donnell Williams on Upward Trend of Black Homeownership Rate

Washington, DC – January 31, 2020 – The National Association of Real Estate Brokers (NAREB) is guardedly optimistic regarding the current upward trend of the Black homeownership rate of 44% as stated by the U.S. Census Bureau in its 4th quarter 2019 report. The reported rate represents a second in a row increase up from the 3rd quarter rate of 42.9% and an uncharacteristic jump from the 2nd quarter 2019 Black homeownership rate of 40.6%. While we remain positive about the upward trend, NAREB is mindful that a nearly 30 percentage point gap separates the current non-Hispanic White homeownership of 73.7% from the Black homeownership rate of 44%.

As stated in a previous look at the 3rd quarter rates, brisk seasonal sales could account for the increased Black homeownership rate. However, these back-to-back quarterly increases into the 4th quarter indicate to us that Black Americans are purchasing homes at a higher, more consistent rate.

The nation’s economic vibrancy, lower unemployment levels, a restored confidence in purchasing real estate and low interest rates, coupled with an increasingly more informed Black consumer can all be factored into the six months of rate increases. NAREB’s belief in our boots- on-the-ground approach will continue to support and contribute to the upswing in Black homeownership. It is important to note that the last time the Black homeownership rate neared the 4th quarter 2019 level was in 4th quarter 2012 when the U.S. Census reported a 44.5% rate which ticked consistently downward until the 3rd quarter of 2019.

NAREB remains mindful of the volatility of the real estate marketplace, but trusts that Black consumers, coupled with our concerted efforts to educate and inform Black home buyers about the wealth building benefits of owning a home will continue to boost Black homeownership and economic futures.


The National Association of Real Estate Brokers (NAREB) was formed in 1947 to secure the right to equal housing opportunities regardless of race, creed or color. NAREB has advocated for legislation and supported or instigated legal challenges that ensure fair housing, sustainable homeownership, and access to credit for Black Americans. At the same time, NAREB advocates for and promotes access to business opportunity for Black real estate professionals in all of the real estate disciplines. NAREB annually publishes The State of Housing in Black America report.


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