Owning a home is the gateway to the middle class and the traditional path to building wealth and passing it along to one’s children.
NBC Connecticut Investigates wanted a better idea of home ownership trends and crunched some recently released census figures.
For starters, overall home ownership in Connecticut went down in the decade between the 2010 and the 2020 census -anywhere from down roughly 1% in Windham County, to homeownership dropping almost 5% in Fairfield County.
We asked Jeffrey Cohen, UConn Business School professor of real estate, for his take.
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“2020 was a period that was the beginning of the pandemic and there was lots of supply chain issues that disrupted new construction. And all of this can lead to a housing shortage that keeps prices high and makes it difficult for people to purchase houses," Cohen said.
He added that corporate ownership of single-family homes is also to blame for decreased homeownership by individuals.
Breaking things down by race, the census indicates between 2010 and 2020, home ownership in Connecticut by white residents dropped 0.6%.
Hispanic homeownership went up 0.5%, and Connecticut’s Black residents had a slight dip in home ownership, down just over 1.5%.
"This could be due to the fact that there’s been a racial wealth divide that has been growing wider in the U.S. over time. And that makes it more challenging for Black residents to obtain access to credit, for instance," Cohen said.
Meanwhile, homeownership by Asians in Connecticut surged between 2010 and 2020, going up between 12 to 22% in New London, Middlesex, Fairfield and Litchfield counties.
Cohen pointed out though, that the number of Asian households in Connecticut is low enough that even small increases can look large percentage-wise.