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For many Hispanics, homeownership built on family support

2021 is sixth straight year Hispanic homeownership has increased

Hispanic homeowners are more likely to have adult relatives currently living with them — and are more likely to have lived with relatives themselves, prior to buying their home.

Per a recent Redfin study of 1,500 homeowners, 52% of current Hispanic homeowners have at some point lived with family or friends without paying rent to save money for future housing costs — against only 39% of Black homeowners and 38% of white homeowners.

(Of the 1,500 respondents, 385 identified themselves as Hispanic, 238 identified themselves as Black and 499 identified themselves as white.) 

This money-saving tactic has contributed to the rise of Hispanic homeownership over the past six years, with 50.1% of Hispanic or Latino Americans owning their home in 2020 — up from 45.4% in 2014. That’s a faster rate increase than Black and white homeowners over the same time period.

There are now approximately 8.8 million Hispanic homeowners in the country, with a rate of around 49% of all homeowners, according to a recent report from the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals. That’s 725,000 more homeowners and a full percentage point higher than in 2019. It also marks the sixth year in a row that the Hispanic homeownership rate has increased.

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Per Census stats, the 2020 white homeownership rate was 74.5%, the Black homeownership rate was 44.1%, and the Asian rate was 59.5%.

Living with relatives first is often a necessity for prospective Hispanic and Latin homeowners, according to Redfin economist Sebastian Sandoval-Olascoaga.

“Hispanic people in the U.S., especially those who are undocumented, tend to have less access to credit and higher debt compared to other racial or ethnic groups, making them more dependent on support from family to buy a home,” Sandoval-Olascoaga said in a statement. “With those limitations, support from family and social networks — such as living with family or friends without paying rent — allows Hispanic people to save money for a down payment or monthly mortgage costs.”

Sandoval-Olascoaga added that current Hispanic homeowners were more likely to make financial sacrifices at some point in order to afford a home, including working longer hours, picking up a second job, or driving an older, cheaper vehicle.

Of Redfin’s survey, only 10% of Hispanic respondents reported making zero financial sacrifices in order to purchase a home.

Thirty-eight percent of Hispanics who responded to the Redfin survey received financial assistance from their parents in order to pay a mortgage, versus 29% of Black homeowners and 21% of white homeowners.

Hispanics were hit especially hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, with the group’s unemployment rate jumping to 10.4% in 2020. Only 29% of Hispanics were able to work from home, according to the NAHREP, compared to 49% of non-Hispanic whites.

“For many Hispanic Americans, making social or personal sacrifices is a necessity if they want to buy a home, and that was especially true this year, as Hispanic people were more likely than people of other races to lose their jobs due to the pandemic,” Sandoval-Olascoaga said. “Plus, undocumented immigrants are unable to access financial help from the government and may have to rely on family, adding to the need for Hispanic families to make even more economic sacrifices.”

Hispanic homeowners are also more likely to share a roof with their older relatives. Roughly 47% of Hispanic homeowners have adult relatives currently living in their home, compared with 39% of Black homeowners and 27% of white homeowners, per the study.

The Durham/Chapel Hill area of North Carolina and Boise, Idaho are the current fastest-growing markets for Hispanic homeowners, per the NAHREP.

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