Duke University Economist Finds Blacks Pay a Premium in Housing Market

A study led by Patrick Bayer, a professor of economics at Duke University, finds that when all other variables are the same, African Americans on average pay more for a house than White Americans. Professor Bayer’s analyses of more than 2 million housing transactions found that Blacks paid on average $6,000 more than Whites for a $200,000 house.

The authors of the study state that White sellers may be willing to settle for a lower price when the buyer is also White but hold out for a higher price when the buyer is African American. Another possible explanation for the discrepancy expressed by the authors of the study is that many African American home buyers are new to the market and do not have others in their families who have gone through the process. Therefore, it is possible that African Americans are less savvy in the housing marketplace than those with more experience.

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