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Though homes are more affordable overall in Lincoln than in most other places in the country, they're less affordable for some minority groups, according to a report released late Tuesday.

The report from online real estate and rental marketplace Zillow found that people earning the median income of $60,718 in the Lincoln metro area could afford 90 percent of all homes for sale in 2017. That's considerably better than the national average of 74 percent.

According to the Zillow report, being able to "afford" a home means not paying more than 30 percent of monthly income on housing costs.

However, when it comes to racial minorities, Lincoln tends to fare worse than the national average, according to the report.

African-American home buyers in the Lincoln area could afford only about 51 percent of the homes for sale last year, lower than the national rate of 55 percent.

Asians nationally had more buying power than any other group, able to afford 85 percent of all homes. But in Lincoln, Asian buyers fared much worse, able to afford only 56 percent of the homes for sale.

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Among racial minorities, Hispanics fared best in Lincoln, according to the report, able to afford 79 percent of local homes. Nationally, Hispanics could afford only 65 percent of homes.

Bill Porn, home ownership coordinator with Neighborworks Lincoln, said the data in the report doesn't necessarily jibe with what he sees in Lincoln, although he said many of the group's minority clients are first-generation immigrants who compare well financially to its other clients.

Porn also said that income is not always the best predictor of who can qualify for a home loan.

"So many factors go into the scenario, like debt-to-income ratio and credit worthiness," he said in an email. "Basing something solely on income might not present the full picture."

White buyers were able to afford almost 92 percent of the homes for sale in Lincoln, according to the report. The average for whites nationally was 78 percent.

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Business editor/reporter

Matt Olberding is a Lincoln native and University of Nebraska-Lincoln graduate who has been covering business for the Journal Star since 2005.

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