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Black Homeownership Falls to Record Low as Affordability Worsens

  • The rate of 40.6% is the lowest in data going back to 1970
  • Racial gap is growing, with rate for whites rising to 73.1%
A prospective home buyer arrives to look at a home for sale in Chandler, Arizona.

A prospective home buyer arrives to look at a home for sale in Chandler, Arizona.

Photographer: Joshua Lott/Bloomberg

The U.S. housing market is splitting along racial lines, with black homeownership dropping to the lowest level since at least 1970 -- just two years after the Fair Housing Act was passed.

The rate among black Americans was 40.6% in the second quarter, down from 41.6% a year earlier and the smallest share since the Census Bureau began keeping consistent data almost 50 years ago. The rates for all other minority groups also were down, while the measure for whites climbed slightly to 73.1%.