Recovery for whom? Race, class, and property in Atlanta since the Great Recession

Authors: Scott N Markley*, University of Georgia, Taylor Hafley, University of Georgia, Steve Holloway, University of Georgia
Topics: Ethnicity and Race, Economic Geography, Urban Geography
Keywords: Housing, Atlanta, Great Recession, Race, Class
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/14/2018
Start / End Time: 8:00 AM / 9:40 AM
Room: Estherwood, Sheraton, 4th Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


During the 2007 – 2008 housing crash, over half the wealth owned by black households in the United States vanished. In the decade since the crisis, home prices in affluent white urban and suburban neighborhoods have generally rebounded beyond pre-crisis levels, while home prices in predominantly black neighborhoods have continued to languish, exacerbating the already staggering racial wealth gap. Although this white-black differential has been reported in news outlets and academic journals, the prevailing narrative has thus far overlooked some important distinctions between poor and middle-class black neighborhoods. Leveraging property sales data from Fulton and DeKalb County, Georgia—two counties encompassing a section of what is referred to as the “Black Mecca”—I highlight those distinctions, as well as their similarities, in my analysis of home price changes from the height of the housing boom to the years of the post-recession “recovery”.

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