Real Estate Blog

Study reveals few Fresno blacks and Latinos getting home mortgage loans

Home mortgage loan activity is low among Fresno’s black and Latino populations.
Home mortgage loan activity is low among Fresno’s black and Latino populations. Fresno Bee Staff Photo

Few blacks and Latinos are getting home mortgage loans in Fresno and across the state, a new study says.

Only 10.6 percent of blacks and Latinos, who make up 44 percent of the state population, received mortgage loans statewide in 2013, according to a report released Wednesday from The Greenlining Institute, a national policy and leadership organization that promotes racial and economic justice. The study is called “Locked Out of the Market: Poor Access to Home Loans for Californians of Color.”

The organization analyzed statewide federal home mortgage data and examined three cities – Fresno, Long Beach and Oakland – to find out the barriers to homeownership among the nation’s fastest growing demographic.

“Unfortunately, the federal data can’t tell us why black and Latino borrowers are so underrepresented, but the fact that these families are effectively shut out of the home mortgage market should set off alarms,” said Zach Murray, the Institute’s Economic Equity program manager and lead author of the report.

Fresno banks received 7,358 mortgage applications in 2013, more than Long Beach and Oakland combined, the report says. But only 3 percent of the city’s black population applied for a mortgage loan while 23 percent of Hispanics submitted applications. Together, they represent 56 percent of the city’s population.

“It’s time to ask whether banks are doing enough,” Murray said, “to reach African American and Latino borrowers with loan products that meet their needs and help them gain the benefits of homeownership.”

BoNhia Lee: 559-441-6495, @bonhialee