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Minorities and Student Debt Holders Purchased Lower-Priced Homes, Leading to Lost Wealth Accumulation Over Time
press release, National Association of Realtors

Minorities and student debt holders purchased lower-priced homes when compared to White Americans and buyers without student debt, according to research conducted by Jessica Lautz, NAR vice president of demographics and behavioral insights, and Michael White, Nottingham Trent University professor and director of the Centre of the Built Environment.

Lautz and White's Mind The Gap working paper examines the purchase price differences among home buyers from January 2014 to December 2017 who purchased a primary residence property and how the purchase price can lead to further wealth gaps through equity in homeownership.

Hispanic and Black Americans purchased homes 11.2% and 10.6% less expensive, respectively, than White Americans when controlling for household income, home size, location, and down payment help from family.

Buyers who had student debt purchase homes that were 18.8% less expensive than those without student debt.

Homeownership is one of the best ways to build wealth and purchasing homes that are significantly less expensive can lead to lost wealth accumulation – and possibly lost homeownership – across generations. The authors suggest a number of policy steps that may help mitigate the homeownership gap, including financial literacy, refinancing student loans, expansion of mortgage financing though alternative credit scoring models, and expanding public awareness of low down payment programs.

View the full Mind The Gap working paper here: https://www.nar.realtor/research-and-statistics/research-reports/home-price-differences-by-race-and-student-debt.

The National Association of Realtors® is America's largest trade association, representing more than 1.4 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.

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I find this article VERY misleading.

Do you think that the affordability factor of the house was based on income and debt?

OF COURSE IT WAS.  So, if you have high debt or a low down payment, you are not going to qualify for a house priced outside of your buying power.

I am so sick and tired of how the "victims" are portrayed.  


Either your income qualifies or it does not.  If your income is high but your debt ratio is higher, your buying power is LESS.   So if you are lower income and you still have high debt ration, your buying power is LESS

It equals out no matter what income you make or the color of your skin or whether or not you have a "student" loan - it is all based on INCOME and DEBT.  And what you can AFFORD to pay.

Let's keep the BS out of Real Estate, please

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I'm not sure how one could view the article as "misleading" - what do you feel it was "leading" you to believe?  What do you disagree with?

 You might ask yourself why you had such an animated response to this, or why you felt the need to respond like this.

 I don't see that the article stated anything untrue.  The racial wealth gap is a serious, systemic problem.  And student loan debt is strangling millions of people in this country to the point that many will live their entire lives with it.  There's no way to get rid of it if you aren't able to pay - it will follow you literally to your grave.

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Thank you for your well worded, reasoned, accurate reply Constance. 

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Don't get me started on the "student loan crisis."  I graduated from law school over 11 years ago, I have never missed a student loan payment, and I still owe more than I paid for my first house! 

Now... I'm not complaining about the fact that I have to repay it, and I'm not suggesting that my loans should be forgiven.  But, I'm fortunate enough to have been able to work in my field and meet my student loan obligations.  There are a lot of people that can't find jobs in their fields, or they don't pay what they expected, and they really struggle.  

The cost of education in this country is the real problem.  The wealth gap will only get worse, so long as higher education is (somewhat) limited for those that cannot afford it.  Even with loans, the burden is just shifted into the future.  

And I truly believe that a higher education is valuable, even for those to who choose to work in fields that do not require it.  We'd all be better off if more people pursued personal growth through education.   

Robert A. Franco, J.D., LL.M.


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Robert,  In re  your concerns:  1-  Is part of the, "that I have never missed a student loan payment, and I still owe more..." caused by the fact that the payment schedule and payment amounts are so low that they take so long to completely amortize, compared to other type of loans?

 2-  While "personal growth through education" is desirable, not all persons going into the trades to earn a living might agree with you.  Getting the skills needed to earn that living, often at much higher wages than many college grads earn in their chosen fields, is much wiser in their minds than having a brain full of useful book knowledge.  

3-  Many of those who are having a struggle with making payments because they "can't find jobs in their fields, or they don't pay what they expected", perhaps should have dedicated part of that "educational effort" into checking out the details of the fields they selected, before declaring a major and wasting student loan funds on bank rolling classes for jobs that will not support them properly.  Many majors seemed classy, but offer little income possibility.

4-  Perhaps more of the "education" provided to  students should be about WORKING during the time they are going to college, even if it would mean 5-6 years to graduated without a mountain of debt as promoted by the schools and government.  WORK seems to be a dirty word to many students.





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Maybe you had a different college experience than I did. 

I greatly admire those that choose "the trades" and I am quite aware that they do not require a college education.  However, they would still benefit greatly from the experience and knowledge.  Which is why I said "personal growth."  I have friends who graduate from law school that do not practice law.  It is an invaluable education, regardless of what you choose to do as a profession.  Unfortunately, it is so expensive that very few people have the luxury of getting one solely for their personal gain.

Education is sold as a commodity in this country with the promise of prosperity.  My point is that education should be more attainable, regardless of whether it is a job requirement. 

Robert A. Franco, J.D., LL.M.


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I agree, a well rounded person needs to be educated.  And as you stated, "education is sold..." My college experience included working nearly 40 hours every week, with most of my classes scheduled about the "work hours I had".  Not a lot of party time either, but not a damn dime student loan debt and I managed to graduate with a paid for '64 Corvette and a new wife.

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I worked full-time, too.  Not only did I own a title agency and abstracting business, I started Source of Title while I was finishing my undergrad degree (I attained my three degrees a little later in life than most), and I worked very hard at both while I went to law school in the evenings.  I was able to pay for my undergrad degree, but law school was a bit more expensive.

I agree, that more people should be able to hold down a job and pay for their education.  Unfortunately, that just isn't an option for most people these days.  Real wages have declined decade after decade and the cost of education has increased a rate far exceeding inflation. 

My point is that it needs to accessible to more people, without the burden that excessive debt places on people after they graduate. 

Robert A. Franco



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Robert,    My  B.S.  in modern history of the West Indian native reptiles has not found much of a market in all these years,  but  the M.S. studies of bovine methane production has become vogue in the recent time with the Adm. we now have in Washington.  Thank you to all those "green voters" in the 2020 election.   With Trump in the WH, there wasn't as much concern about the effect "cow farts" were having on our CO2 levels.




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