Journal of Housing and the Built Environment

, Volume 25, Issue 1, pp 117–124 | Cite as

Patterns of discrimination against Blacks and Hispanics in the US mortgage market

Policy and Practice


The mortgage market in the United States has seen tremendous changes during the last years, most important of which is the evolution and growth of the secondary market and the accompanied increase in subprime lending. Traditionally depository institutions as banks and thrifts were the main issuers of mortgages. Nowadays, however, the mortgage market is occupied by many more institutions and agents, who are issuing a large share of mortgages. On the positive side, the growth of the subprime market has increased homeownership rates for low-income and minority households. On the negative side, however, statistics suggest that Blacks and Hispanics extensively rely on subprime loans. This is critical insofar as some of those households would have qualified for a less costly prime mortgage. Moreover, there is evidence that minorities—most of which are concentrated in certain neighborhoods—are purposely targeted to purchase a subprime loan which is not suited to their financial abilities. Thus, the current crisis, and accompanied foreclosures of homes, can be expected to disproportionately affect Blacks and Hispanics.


Discrimination Housing Minorities Mortgage Market Segregation Subprime mortgages 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Humboldt-UniversityBerlinGermany
  2. 2.BerlinGermany

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