More than a decade after the housing crisis, the effects of the wave of foreclosures are still vivid to most people, particularly those who lost their home. As home values skyrocketed after the recovery, families who lost their home and have yet to buy another have been unable to benefit from a growth in equity and the accompanying increase in their household net worth.
A new analysis of the fallout from foreclosures by Zillow found that black and Hispanic communities were hit harder than white communities.
Nationally, 19.4 percent of all foreclosures between 2007 and 2016 were in Hispanic communities, but only 9.6 percent of all homes were in those neighborhoods.
Similarly, 12.7 percent of all foreclosures during those years were in black communities, but only 7.7 percent of all homes were in black neighborhoods.
Foreclosed homes in those communities have more than doubled in value since their lowest point, but the former owners have missed that opportunity to build wealth.
Historically, black and Hispanic homeowners have held the majority of their net worth in their homes at a higher rate than white homeowners.
Just before the housing bubble burst in 2007, Hispanic homeowners had 73.1 percent of their net worth in their homes, black homeowners had 61.8 percent of their net worth in the form of home equity and white homeowners had only 46.5 percent of their net worth in their homes.
The pattern in the St. Louis area largely mirrored the national picture.
While homes in predominantly black communities represented 17.9 percent of all homes in the St. Louis region, 37.9 percent of foreclosed homes between 2007 and 2015 were in black communities, Zillow found.
At the same time, 81.9 percent of homes were located in primarily white communities but only 61.9 percent of foreclosed homes were in those communities.
The Hispanic community in St. Louis was too small and dispersed to provide a useful comparison.
According to the report, a home in the black majority area of St. Louis was 2.8 times as likely to be foreclosed on than a home in a white area.
The Post-Dispatch contributed to this report.