How a neighborhood’s race determines home values

CityLab Daily

The price is not right: Despite the passage of fair housing laws in the U.S. during the 1960s and '70s, homes in predominantly Black neighborhoods have generally been appraised at lower values than those in majority-white communities. A new study now finds that the difference in average home appraisals between the two kinds of neighborhoods has doubled since 1980, jumping from $86,000 to $164,000 in 2015.

But the widening race gap can't be blamed solely on historic racist housing practices like redlining, writes Brentin Mock. The study's authors also found fault with a standard appraisal practice known as "sales comparison approach," in which a home's value is calculated based on the prices of other similar homes that were recently sold from the same neighborhood. The problem with this method is it compares houses to other Black-owned homes that have been undervalued due to the legacy of segregation, essentially grandfathering in discriminatory home pricing that existed before fair housing legislation. Today on CityLab: A Neighborhood's Race Affects Home Values More Now Than in 1980

-Linda Poon

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What we're reading

  • New York City is one of three cities deemed by Department of Justice as "anarchist jurisdiction" (ABC News)
  • GreatSchools wanted to disrupt online school ratings. But did it make neighborhood segregation worse? (Mother Jones)
  • Protesters say localized lockdowns in Madrid discriminate against the poor (Reuters)
  • Immigrants don't just change voting patterns (The Atlantic)
  • Upgrading building codes can curb drinking water contamination due to wildfires (Truthout)


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