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Black Las Vegas mortgage applicants rejected more than others

Black mortgage applicants get rejected more often than others in Las Vegas, and the racial disparity is even wider nationally, a new report shows.

Some 17.5 percent of black Southern Nevadans seeking home loans were denied in 2016, above the rejection rate for Asian (13.6 percent), Hispanic (12.3 percent) and white applicants (10.1 percent), according to a report Thursday by home-listing service Zillow.

Across the U.S., 20.9 percent of black mortgage applicants were rejected in 2016, compared to a 15.5 percent denial rate for Hispanics, 10.4 percent for Asians and 8.1 percent for whites, Seattle-based Zillow reported, citing data obtained from the federal government.

Zillow senior economist Aaron Terrazas said in a statement that the home-loan approval numbers “point to both progress and stubborn inequities in the American housing market.”

By some measures, he said, the approval gap between black and white applicants “is as narrow as it has ever been.” But black applicants “are still more than twice as likely as whites to be denied, a visible legacy of historical discriminatory policies.”

“For the large majority of home buyers, getting approved for a loan is the first step on the road to homeownership, and these continued disparities represent an ongoing barrier to housing and social equity in America,” Terrazas said.

Zillow looked at conventional mortgages for the report, which showed that Las Vegas has one of the highest overall rejection rates in the country despite having a narrower racial disparity.

Southern Nevada’s overall denial rate of 11.8 percent was fifth-highest among the 35 metro areas listed in Zillow’s report. It trailed three markets in Florida (Miami, Orlando and Tampa) and Riverside, California, areas that, along with Las Vegas, were hit especially hard by the housing crash.

Contact Eli Segall at esegall@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0342. Follow @eli_segall on Twitter.

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