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Source: U.S. Census Bureau

What does this measure?

The ratio of the median home value divided by the median household income, adjusted for inflation, and shown for homeowners in various racial and ethnic groups.

Why is this important?

This ratio provides a rough estimate of the affordability of homes in a community. A ratio less than 2 or 3 is considered affordable. High housing costs can force households to choose between paying for housing and meeting other basic needs such as food, clothing and health care.

How is our region performing?

Housing in the region was most affordable in 2016-20 for white homeowners, at 2.0, compared to 2.5 for both Black or African American and Hispanic homeowners, and 2.6 for Asian homeowners. The region was more affordable for all racial and ethnic groups than the state and nation. Disparities were most pronounced at the state level, where the ratio for white homeowners (3.4) was substantially lower than for Hispanic (6.6), Black (6.8) and Asian (6.9) homeowners.

In 2016-20, Asian and white residents had the highest median home values in the region, at about $204,600 and $154,800, respectively. African Americans had the lowest median home value in the region, at $95,400, while the median for Hispanic homeowners was $123,300. The City of Rochester had lower median values for all racial and ethnic groups: $100,500 for white homeowners; $72,000 for Black homeowners; $69,900 for Hispanic homeowners; and $67,600 for Asian homeowners.

Why do these disparities exist?

Historic and current policies and systems, from racist housing policies to employment discrimination to education systems that fail to equitably serve all populations, have prevented people of color from fully participating in our economy, locking them out of economic opportunity. This has resulted in lower incomes for people of color, which means housing costs are a greater burden.

Notes about the data

Multiyear data are from the Census Bureau's American Community Survey, Public Use Microdata Sample, which paired up four counties (Orleans/Genesee, Wyoming/Livingston) due to relatively small populations. The American Community Survey combines five years of responses to provide estimates for smaller geographic areas and increase the precision of its estimates. The survey provides data on characteristics of the population that used to be collected only during the decennial census. Data for this indicator are expected to be released in the first quarter.

Housing Affordability - Owning by Race/Ethnicity, 2016-20
AsianBlack or African AmericanLatino or HispanicWhite
NYS (excluding NYC)
Surrounding Counties2.
Monroe County Local Areas

Source: U.S. Census Bureau
Notes: The Census Bureau asks people to identify their race (white, African-American, etc.) separate from their ethnicity (Hispanic or non-Hispanic). So the totals for these categories cannot be added together, as people show up in both a racial and ethnic group.

Median Home Value by Race/Ethnicity, 2016-20
AsianBlack or African AmericanLatino or HispanicWhite
NYS (excluding NYC)$683,775$507,832$547,191$723,715
Surrounding Counties$223,195$107,950$126,064$139,686
Monroe County Local Areas

Source: U.S. Census Bureau
Notes: Figures are in constant 2016 Dollars.

Worse than NYS by 10% or more
Up to 10% worse than NYS
Equal to or better than NYS

*No or multiple regional values for this indicator

Worse than NYS by 10% or more
Up to 10% worse than NYS
Equal to or better than NYS