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Blacks still pay more than others for home ownership, MIT study finds

The annual difference that Black people pay in higher costs, when invested over 30 years, results in lost retirement savings of $67,320 for Black homeowners.
A residential building construction site is seen in Detroit
A residential building construction site in Detroit on April 28, 2020.Rebecca Cook / Reuters file

Black Americans still pay more than any other group to own a home, a disparity that over 30 years contributes to roughly half the current $130,000 gap between Blacks and whites in savings at retirement, a recent Massachusetts Institute of Technology study shows.

The annual difference of $743 in mortgage interest payments, $550 in mortgage insurance premiums and $390 in property taxes, when invested over 30 years results in lost retirement savings of $67,320 for Black homeowners, according to the study called “The Unequal Costs of Black Homeownership.”

These inequities make it impossible for Black households to build housing wealth at the same rate as white households, said the study, whose lead author, Edward Golding, is executive director of the MIT Golub Center for Finance and Policy.

Black homeowners on average have lower credit scores and lower down payments, largely rooted in past discriminatory policies and practices, making them disproportionately disadvantaged by risk-based pricing, the study found.

Golding, a former head of the Federal Housing Administration, said in a statement that “mortgages costs are determined by markets to some extent,” but “there is a great deal of public policy that influences these rates especially as it impacts people of color.”

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