Did you pay more for you home than you should have? Well chances that you did are higher if you are Latino or black, according to a new study out of Duke University.
Over the past 18 years, home buyers who are Latino and black paid 3.5 percent more than white home buyers for comparable homes in Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco and Washington, D.C. The study tracked more than two million housing transactions in those cities. While Latinos and blacks are still less likely to own homes than their white and Asian counterparts, a significantly larger percentage of such minorities (47.4 percent of Hispanics and 45.1 percent of blacks) owned homes in 2011 than in 1995, according to Pew.
The Duke study controlled for factors such as income, the wealth of the household, and access to credit, but still found that "none of those factors seemed to explain these differences" in how much more Latinos and blacks paid. Discrimination on the behalf of white sellers also didn't seem to be a factor.
"Interestingly, we did not detect the pattern of obvious racial prejudice on behalf of the sellers. Black and Hispanic sellers sold at similar premiums to white sellers," said Pat Bayer, the senior author of the study and an economics professor at Duke University.
So why might this difference exist? Well, according to Bayer, it may have to do with age more than anything, because black and Latino populations skew younger, and are therefore more likely to be first time homeowners, and less experienced at negotiating home prices.
What's more, Bayer said in a Duke press release that "minority buyers are shown a more limited set of properties by real estate agents and may, therefore, feel like they have to pay more when they see a house that really suits their needs and tastes."
So if you're a first time buyer, don't fall into that trap.Here are some great tips on how to make sure you get the most for your money.