Is Timing Everything? Race, Homeownership, and Net Worth in the Tumultuous 2000s

Real Estate Economics, Forthcoming

Posted: 20 Mar 2015

See all articles by Sandra J. Newman

Sandra J. Newman

Johns Hopkins School of Public Health

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: February 24, 2015


We use the Panel Study of Income Dynamics to estimate how net worth was affected among low- and moderate-income households who became first-time homebuyers at different points during the volatile 2000s. We address selection using propensity score matching and estimating difference-in-difference models, and use quantile regressions to account for the skew in net worth outcomes. Results highlight the significance of race in the relationship between first-time homebuying and net worth during the decade. Although timing was critical to the short-term trajectory of net worth for whites, total net worth declines for black first-time homebuyers regardless of economic climate. The most dramatic differences between black and white new homebuyers is their neighborhood locations, with blacks purchasing in predominantly black neighborhoods with lower housing prices and price appreciation, and lower and declining rates of homeownership.

Keywords: homeownership, race, net worth

Suggested Citation

Newman, Sandra J., Is Timing Everything? Race, Homeownership, and Net Worth in the Tumultuous 2000s (February 24, 2015). Real Estate Economics, Forthcoming, Available at SSRN:

Sandra J. Newman (Contact Author)

Johns Hopkins School of Public Health ( email )

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