Journal of Comparative Urban Law and Policy


U.S. homeownership rates have largely recovered since the depths of the Great Recession, except for Black Americans. In 2019, 42 percent of Black households owned a home, compared to 73 percent of white households. Currently, about two thirds of households own their home, a rate of homeownership that has prevailed in the U.S. since mid-century. However, whether this rate can be sustained over the next decades is in question. Black and Hispanic/Latinx homeownership rates have remained far below that of the white non-Hispanic rate. In addition, the homeownership rate for younger households is now below its level prior to the 2000s housing boom and bust. In this paper, we discuss what is known about homeownership outcomes and policies: in particular, how borrowing constraints and housing affordability are impacting current homeownership outcomes; how the trajectory of homeownership rates over time from pre-Great Depression through the current period reflects lending regimes; and how future trajectories based on projected demographic trends and lending environments imply a very different future for U.S. homeownership outcomes. We also present policy interventions that could help to change the course of these trends and support sustainable access to homeownership.

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