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Purchasing power increases among Latinos

Purchasing power among Latinos in the U.S. rose to $1.1 trillion in 2011, a sign of continued growth in influence on the economy and housing market, according to a real estate trade group.

The National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals said many factors, including relative young age, population growth and increased incomes likely signal a heightened share of Hispanic homebuyers.

Latinos saw purchasing power more than double over the past decade, compared to a 52% increase for the country as a whole. The measure is expected to increase another 48% for Latinos to $1.6 trillion by 2016, according to NAHREP.

"Despite recent losses suffered by Hispanics during the housing crisis, young Latino families that were unaffected by foreclosure or lost home values are ready to enter the market," NAHREP President Carmen Mercado said in a news release.

Roughly two-thirds of Hispanic renters still plan to buy a house in the long run, according to a 2011 Fannie Mae survey cited by NAHREP. But only 57% of Latinos said it’s a good time to buy, compared with 68% of all respondents.

Hispanic homeowners accounted for 53% of the 545,000 new owner-occupants in the third quarter 2011, according to Census Bureau data. Homeownership rates among Latinos fell to 46.9% in 2011 from 47.3% in 2001, a milder decline than the overall U.S. drop to 66.1% from 67.8%.


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