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Freddie Mac Report Highlights Apparent Racial Bias in Appraisals


By Jesse Williams

Housing discrimination and racial bias have taken many forms over the years, from the explicit government-sponsored policy of redlining (refusing to insure mortgages in predominately Black neighborhoods) to the continued practices of steering (real estate agents pushing Black homebuyers away from white neighborhoods).

Yesterday, Freddie Mac released a new report exploring another avenue that the real estate industry has discriminated against non-white homeowners—through appraisals.

According to the report, the appraisal value of homes in predominantly Black and Latino neighborhoods were significantly more likely to appraise lower than the contracted sale price compared to white neighborhoods, a disparity that cannot be explained by comparable reconciliation, variances in comparable sale prices or possible systematic over payment.

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