Spatial and Racial Patterning of Real Estate Broker Listings in New York City

Naa Oyo A. Kwate, Melody S. Goodman, Jerrold Jackson, Julen Harris

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


It has been well documented that Black homeseekers face discrimination in the housing market in the form of racial steering and other institutional policies and practices that are critical in limiting housing access. Less is known about the mechanisms that operate on the other side of real estate transactions to perpetuate racially segregated neighborhoods. We investigated whether White and Black brokers face segregation in the housing market. That is, to what extent do White and Black brokers differentially market property listings in neighborhoods of varying racial composition? Using real estate listings extracted from the websites of two of the largest New York City real estate brokerages, we examined whether Black and White brokers market properties primarily in Black and White neighborhoods, respectively; and whether, controlling for gender and experience level, Black brokers had a lower average price per square foot than White brokers. Results showed that Black brokers overwhelmingly marketed properties in Black neighborhoods, with fewer listings in White areas. Black brokers also marketed properties with an average price per square foot that was $197 lower than White brokers. Black brokers who worked in offices in Black neighborhoods had the lowest asking price of all brokers. Taken together, Black and White real estate brokers control a bifurcated market in NYC, perpetuating residential segregation and Black-White income and wealth disparities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)401-424
Number of pages24
JournalReview of Black Political Economy
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2013


  • Agents
  • Black/African American
  • Brokers
  • Housing
  • Neighborhoods
  • New York City
  • Racial segregation
  • Real estate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Economics and Econometrics


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