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Hispanic homeownership in the U.S. climbed significantly in 2020 – there are now 8.8 million Hispanic homeowners in the country, according to a report released this week by the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals. That’s 725,000 more than in 2019.

The report, citing U.S. Census data and its own research, now pegs the Hispanic homeownership rate at between 48-49%, which is an uptick of a full percentage point from one year before.

It marks the sixth year in a row that the Hispanic homeownership rate has increased. But 2020’s jump was several hundred-thousand homeowners more than in prior years.

The report’s authors, including Noerena Limón, executive vice president of public policy and industry relations at NAHREP, attributes the jump to “record-low interest rates and an overwhelming desire to purchase a home during the pandemic.”

Another key factor is the median age of Hispanics, which is 29.8 years-old, or 14 years younger than the non-Hispanic white population.

What is not a factor, the report acknowledged, is general economic prosperity. Hispanics were hit especially hit by the COVID pandemic, with the group’s unemployment rate jumping to 10.4% in 2020.

The abrupt shift to a work-from-home economy last year was particularly difficult. Only 29% of Hispanics were able to work from home, the study notes, compared to 49% of non-Hispanic whites.

The real estate group’s report views homeownership as a virtue, and a goal for the Hispanic population.

“Homeownership is the single most powerful strategy for closing the racial and ethnic wealth gap,” the report stated. “To underscore the point, Latino homeowners in 2019 had a net worth of 40 times that of Latino renters.”

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

The report contains a number of interesting details about where Hispanic residents are buying homes. For example, the highest number of Hispanic homeowners are presently in the Dallas and Houston metropolitan areas.

The fastest growing markets for Hispanic homeownership? The Durham/Chapel Hill area of North Carolina and Boise, Idaho.

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