Roughly 77% of NAR’s 1.5 million members in 2021 were white, according to NAR research released on July 11. This figure is down just slightly from numbers reported in 2020, but perhaps one of the most favorable and positive trends we see in the industry today is that diversity is increasing the most amongst those who are newest to the field. In fact, NAR’s 2022 Member Profile found that 37% of those with two years or less experience in real estate were racial minorities, a substantial increase from just one year prior.
As NAR works to combat discrimination and bias in everything we do, we maintain a focus on increasing diversity within all real estate-related professions. Perhaps our biggest push can be found within NAR Spire, a mentorship program relaunched this July.
NAR Spire centers on multicultural minority communities throughout the U.S., offering valuable, one-on-one guidance from current REALTORS® to help Americans from every zip code identify and pursue professional opportunities in the real estate field.
Our industry, historically, is one which has lacked sufficient racial and ethnic diversity. Overall, Hispanics/Latinos accounted for 11% of REALTORS® in 2021, followed by Black/African Americans at 8% and Asian/Pacific Islanders at 5%.
Increasing diversity in real estate professions, we believe, will also play a critical role in increasing the diversity of homeowners in America.
At NAR, as across much of this country, we continue our study of the past in order to dismantle the systemic barriers impeding a more prosperous future. Consider statistics like those showing that the 43% homeownership rate for Black Americans significantly lags the national average (65%). Compare that to the homeownership rate for white Americans (72%), and the contrast is even more stark.
Alongside a steering committee of representatives from the National Association of Real Estate Brokers and the Mortgage Bankers Association, among others, NAR recently helped launch the Black Homeownership Collaborative—a mission-focused coalition intent on creating three million net new Black homeowners in the U.S. by 2030.
Identified within the initiative, known simply as “3by30,” are seven programs and policy changes the Collaborative contends will help achieve this three-million-new-homeowners goal before the end of the decade. That includes broadening access to mortgage credit, increasing housing supply and establishing a targeted down payment assistance program.
Homeownership remains the centerpiece of the American Dream. However, various market dynamics have made this goal less attainable for countless prospective homebuyers, no matter their race, over recent years. Mentorship opportunities like those offered through NAR Spire help Americans from all backgrounds learn the fundamentals of the real estate industry, explore all the generational wealth-building opportunities made available by property ownership and discover how to achieve their own homeownership dreams.
Although the NAR Spire application and matching process for this year is closed, associations interested in participating next year can apply by visiting www.NAR.realtor/SpireInterestForm/.
Until then, we encourage everyone to visit www.FutureInRealEstate.Realtor to explore various real estate careers, take an assessment to receive customized career-path recommendations and learn about all of the lasting benefits of homeownership.