Our Director of Research Amber Hendley lent her expertise on blockbusting and contract selling for this piece.

Contract buying was often the only option for Black families looking to buy a home. These had much higher interest rates than regular mortgages while also giving buyers zero stake in the property until final payment. With no equity in homes that were already deliberately sold at very inflated prices, many Black households found themselves forced to abandon properties they simply could not afford to upkeep. 

This dynamic fed into a cycle of abandonment, depressed property values, & underinvestment in Black & Brown neighborhoods that continues to impact homebuyers to this day.