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Mortgage Lending to Minority Borrowers - 10/9/14

It’s been several years since the U.S. housing market collapsed, and yet that collapse continues to shape many aspects of economic life.  Take for instance the share of mortgage lending to minority borrowers – according to recently released federal data, the share of lending to minority borrowers fell to at least a 14-year low last year.  Specifically, the share of mortgage lending to African-Americans for home purchases slipped to 4.8 percent in 2013 from 5.1 percent in 2012 according to data collected under the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act. 

African-Americans represent 13 percent of U.S. population.  As reported by Bloomberg, the share of mortgages allocated to African-Americans reached a high of 8.7 percent in 2006, just before the housing market tumbled.  Hispanics, who make up about 17 percent of the U.S. population, saw their mortgage share slip to 7.3 percent in 2013, down from a high approaching 12 percent in 2006.

By contrast, whites, whose proportion of the population is falling, are collectively experiencing an increase in mortgage share, last year rising above 70%.  Minorities tend to have lower savings and credit scores than whites, and have accordingly been hit hardest during a time when lenders tend to be providing mortgages to only the strongest borrowers.

Anirban Basu, Chariman Chief Executive Officer of Sage Policy Group (SPG), is one of the Mid-Atlantic region's leading economic consultants. Prior to founding SPG he was Chairman and CEO of Optimal Solutions Group, a company he co-founded and which continues to operate. Anirban has also served as Director of Applied Economics and Senior Economist for RESI, where he used his extensive knowledge of the Mid-Atlantic region to support numerous clients in their strategic decision-making processes. Clients have included the Maryland Department of Transportation, St. Paul Companies, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra Players Committee and the Martin O'Malley mayoral campaign.