A study by Zillow, the online real estate website, shows the gap between black and white homeownership rates has remained virtually unchanged in 100 years. (Scott Eells/Bloomberg News)

The affordability of homeownership depends on income, the price of homes and interest rates, but a recent study by Zillow, an online real estate site, found income inequality among races affects homeownership rates. Despite 50 years since the Fair Housing Act prohibited discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status and/or disabilities, the gap between black and white homeownership rates has not significantly changed. In fact, that gap has remained nearly the same for more than 100 years.

Nationally, Zillow found that a home buyer making the median black household income of $39,466 could afford just 55.3 percent of homes listed for sale in 2017 without paying more than 30 percent of their income on housing. Overall, 74.2 percent of listed homes were affordable to households earning the median national income in 2017. For white households, 77.6 percent of homes were affordable, while Hispanic households could afford 64.9 percent of homes and Asian households could afford 85.2 percent of homes.

Homeownership is a major contributing factor to the accumulation of household wealth, with more than half of Americans’ overall wealth held in their primary residence.

In six housing markets, black home buyers could afford less than one-fourth of all homes for sale based on their median income. The two cities with the widest gap between white households and black households and affordability were Portland, Ore., and Minneapolis.

In the Washington area, 77.5 percent of homes were considered affordable to those earning the median income. But white households in the area could afford 85.6 percent of listings in 2017 and black households could only afford 59.7 percent. Hispanic households could afford 60.8 percent of listings and Asian households could afford 80.8 percent.

For the full report, visit https://www.zillow.com/research/homeownership-gap-widens-19384/