The homeownership rate for Hispanics has jumped in recent years, a fact that could buoy the housing market for years, according to a recent Wall Street Journal article.
Just three years ago, the homeownership rate for this group had fallen to a 50-year low. But now, recent Census data shows that it has risen 3.3% since then, surpassing the overall homeownership growth rate of 1.3%.
And, while Hispanics comprise just 18% of the population, they accounted for about 63% of homeowners gains in the last 10 years, the article states.
The article attributes the spike to gains in income and education among this demographic, as well as a familiarity with the U.S. mortgage market and a large population of Millennial homebuyers.
The WSJ highlights the fact that Hispanics and other minority groups were hit especially hard when the housing market went bust more than a decade ago, and that some groups, like African Americans, have had trouble rebounding.
Hispanics and other minority groups have been challenged by a lack inventory and affordability in the starter-home category, which has been especially true in major cities where Hispanics are concentrated, as well as down payment requirements.
But the WSJ notes that many lenders have recognized the opportunity here, tailoring their offerings to accommodate Hispanic buyers.
“Local and national lenders have courted a Hispanic clientele, who represent an appealing growth market as overall loan volume has slowed,” the article states. “Lenders have added Spanish-speaking loan officers and devoted additional resources to underwriting loans to borrowers who are self-employed or where multiple generations in a family are buying a home together.”
But, despite what the WSJ describes as “a growing population of young Latinos increasingly eager to buy homes,” the homeownership rate for this group remains well below non-Hispanics – 47% compared with 73% in the first quarter of the year.