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Data released by the Census Bureau’s Housing Vacancies and Homeownership survey (CPS/HVS) show that the minority homeownership rate increased to 49.3 percent in the first quarter of 2020, up 2.2 percentage points from the first quarter of 2019 (Figure 1). This is the highest it has been since the first quarter of 2010 (49.5 percent). The year-over-year gain in the minority homeownership rate is double the gain in the overall U.S. homeownership rate, which rose 1.1 percentage points to 65.3 percent in the first quarter of 2020. These gains precede the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic, however. Fallout from the virus will continue to negatively impact the housing market in the short-term.

Breaking down the minority homeownership rate shows that the black homeownership rate gained the most in the first quarter, with a 2.9 percentage point increase to 44.7 percent (from 41.8 percent in the first quarter of 2019). This is the highest the black homeownership rate has been since the fourth quarter of 2012.

The homeownership rate of Other households (Asian, Pacific-Islander, Native American, and other race households) posted the second largest gain of 2.1 percentage points to reach 58.4 percent in the first quarter of 2020 (from 56.3 percent in the first quarter of 2019).

The Hispanic homeownership rate also had a sizable gain in the first quarter, rising 1.5 percentage points to 48.9 percent (from 47.4 percent in the first quarter of 2019).

Meanwhile, the white homeownership grew by 0.5 percentage points to 73.7 percent in the first quarter (from 73.2 percent in the first quarter of 2019). The white homeownership rate has not declined year-over-year since the first quarter of 2017 (Figure 2).

Low mortgage rates and a healthy job market in the first two months of the year boosted homeownership rates. The emergence of COVID-19, however, has created uncertainty that will impact the housing market and consequently, homeownership rates in the coming months. NAHB expects the housing market to return to solid footing in the later part of the year.