• Study: Memphis has one of lowest percentages for black home ownership in U.S.

    By: Kirstin Garriss

    Updated:

    MEMPHIS, Tenn. - A recent study shows Memphis has one of the lowest percentages for black home ownership in the country.

    The study conducted by LendingTree found African Americans tend to own a disproportionately lower number of homes compared to the overall population.

    Memphis realtors said this study reflects some of the economic disparities in our community because the average income is around $30,000 – which means there are limited options for affordable homeownership.

    “We have a high poverty rate. We have income inequity and we also have a low pay scale here,” said Cheryl Muhammad, President of the Memphis chapter for the National Association of Real Estate Brokers, Inc.


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    According to the study, East Memphis and White Station communities had the least number of black homeowners with only three percent in this area. Whitehaven had the most, with 96 percent of the homes in this neighborhood owned by African Americans. 

    Muhammad said that’s a trend she’s noticed over the past 20 years in Whitehaven.

    “Those are empty nesters and they’re comfortable where they are - they’re not looking to move. And a lot of them, they don’t owe anything on their homes,” said Muhammad.

    But she said the study doesn’t show the lack of affordable housing for first-time homeowners.

    “We have a lot of buyers that range from $75,000-175,000 but those homes are hard to find and be move in ready, so we really need to work on our inventory and promote homeownership,” she said. 

    There are several first-time homeownership programs offered by community groups and the city of Memphis. The city also offers some programs exclusively for police officers and firefighters.  


    Here’s how Memphis compares to other cities:

    Memphis, Tenn.

    • Percentage of black residents: 46.51%
    • Percentage of black owner-occupied homes: 34.78%
    • Difference between population and owner-occupied homes: -11.73%
    • Median household income for black residents: $35,309

    New Orleans

    • Percentage of black residents: 34.56%
    • Percentage of black owner-occupied homes: 24.84%
    • Difference between population and owner-occupied homes: -9.72%
    • Median household income for black residents: $30,851

    Milwaukee

    • Percentage of black residents: 16.37%
    • Percentage of black owner-occupied homes: 7.15%
    • Difference between population and owner-occupied homes: -9.22%
    • Median household income for black residents: $28,928

    Baltimore

    • Percentage of black residents: 28.71%
    • Percentage of black owner-occupied homes: 19.60%
    • Difference between population and owner-occupied homes: -9.11%
    • Median household income for black residents: $52,124

    Virginia Beach, Va.

    • Percentage of black residents: 30.01%
    • Percentage of black owner-occupied homes: 21.51%
    • Difference between population and owner-occupied homes: -8.50%
    • Median household income for black residents: $44,494

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