Continued Success or Caught in the Housing Bubble? Black Immigrants and the Housing Market Crash
The recent housing market crisis in the United States led to a drastic drop in homeownership and house values nationwide. While research documents the disproportionate impact of the housing market crisis on blacks, and the surprisingly small effect on immigrants, no research investigates how individuals who are both black and immigrants fared. I use 2005–2007 and 2009–2011 pooled American Community Survey data (N = 2,000,689 and 2,013,001, respectively) to determine whether black immigrants’ housing market outcomes mirrored that of U.S.-born blacks or other immigrants during the housing crisis. Using the maximum likelihood estimator regression with a Heckman correction to measure race and nativity differences in homeownership and house value, I find that there is a great deal of diversity in black immigrant housing market outcomes. Caribbean immigrants experienced significantly larger drops in homeownership than U.S.-born whites and blacks and Asian immigrants, but there is no significant difference between whites and African immigrants. Consistent with previous research, living in major settlement areas meditated black immigrants’ housing market disadvantage. Despite the benefits of living in a co-ethnic community, both African and Caribbean immigrants experienced significantly larger drops in house value than U.S.-born blacks and whites and Asian immigrants. These findings indicate that black immigrants’ housing options are more rather than less constrained than U.S.-born blacks after the housing market crash. Given that the bulk of black wealth is held in home equity, reduced house values may also have long-term consequences on black immigrants’ ability to make, maintain, and pass on wealth across generations.