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Housing Discrimination is the Subject of New Research by Crowder and Co-authors

Posted: 10/12/2023 (CSDE Research)

Kyle Crowder, CSDE Affiliate (Sociology) and co-authors published their research, “Real Estate Platforms, the Housing Search Process, and Racial Residential Stratification” in the journal Race and Social Problems. Recent theoretical arguments suggest that, in addition to ongoing, overt racial housing discrimination and unequal access to resources, multiple subtle housing search processes are racially stratified and contribute to persistent racial segregation. Yet, little prior research has examined these processes. The present paper helps to fill this gap by investigating the racialized differences in the subtle ways that individuals use online housing search tools and identify real estate agents to assist them through the housing search process. To do so, we rely on novel survey data collected by Redfin from 2647 housing consumers using multiple online platforms to search for housing in markets across the United States and examine racialized differences in the likelihood of homebuyers attempting various types of activities using online housing search tools, successfully using the online search tools, and methods of identifying real estate agents with whom to work. While the nature of the data preclude definitive conclusions, our findings point to significant racialized differences in attempting, and successfully completing, online activities across three different ‘types’ of online tool engagement—early search, neighborhood search, and housing unit—as well as in identifying real estate agents. After reviewing our results, we discuss the implications of these findings for persistent racial residential stratification, and directions for future research.

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