Hispanics Buyers Are Gaining Ground as Housing Customers

July 22, 2019

Hispanics are posting the largest homeownership gains of any ethnic group, new Census Bureau data shows. The wave of growth is a far cry from four years ago when the Hispanic homeownership rate reached a 50-year low. Since then, ownership among this segment has risen 3.3 percentage points, Census Bureau data shows.

To be clear, whites still have higher levels of overall homeownership. The Hispanic homeownership rate is at 47.4%, which still remains well-below the 73% rate for non-Hispanic whites in the first quarter. But it’s the growth in ownership rates among Hispanics that housing analysts are predicting could have a significant impact on the housing market over the next decade.

“The housing market would look very different today if it weren’t for a tidal wave of Latino home buyers,” Gary Acosta, co-founder and chief executive of the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals, told The Wall Street Journal.

Hispanics comprise 18% of the U.S. population, yet they accounted for nearly 63% of new U.S. homeowner gains over the past decade, according to NAHREP.

While the Hispanic ownership rate grows, ownership rates among blacks plunged to the lowest levels on record in the first quarter of this year, Census data shows. Economists note this is the first time in 20 years where Hispanics and blacks—the two largest racial minorities in the U.S.—are no longer following the same path when it comes to homeownership rates. A growing population of young Latinos is boosting housing markets across the country. Like all ethnicities, however, Hispanics have faced recent challenges to homeownership. For example, saving for a down payment is the biggest obstacle: 4.6 million of Hispanic millennials earn enough to afford a home in their area but are impeded without sufficient down payment funds or enough available housing inventory, shows a separate study from the Urban Institute. Still, this segment of buyers is showing resilience when it comes to increasing their homeownership rates.

Source: 
Wave of Hispanic Buyers Shores Up U.S. Housing Market,” The Wall Street Journal (July 15, 2019) [Log-in required.]