In 2004, the pinnacle of homeownership in the United States, nearly half of all African American families owned a home, according to census data.
The record figure, fueled by the housing boom of the early 2000s, was still one-third less than housing rates for whites. But it was widely viewed as a milestone for a minority group that spent generations largely shut out of a fundamental pillar of the American Dream.
Yet, over the past decade, the real estate fortunes for African Americans have reversed course. Despite a strengthening economy, including record low unemployment and higher wages for black workers, homeownership levels for that group have dropped incrementally almost every year since 2004.