Hispanic buyers becoming a force in real estate

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WASHINGTON — Hispanic homeownership rates and the number of owner Hispanic households have gone up, according to the new State of Hispanic Homeownership report. This came as the overall U.S. homeownership rates declined for the 12th consecutive year.

The report was issued by the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals and the Hispanic Wealth Project.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the Hispanic homeownership rate averaged 45.6 percent in 2015, 0.2 percent higher than in 2014. In the 12 months ending December 2015, the increase was more dramatic surging from 44.5 percent to 46.7 percent — the largest one year spike in more than a decade.

The report also showed that Latinos led the nation in workforce participation and household formation growth.

“The State of Hispanic Homeownership should be required reading by everyone in housing, especially lenders and realtors,” said David Stevens, president and CEO of the Mortgage Bankers Association. “The significance of Hispanics to housing and the economy will only grow, creating opportunity for all who focus on this vibrant, dynamic, and impactful part of the U.S. economy.”

The State of Hispanic Homeownership Report focuses on data that provides a comparative analysis of last year and since the year 2000. It specifically analyzes the demographic and economic trends that shape the homeownership market. It also identifies major barriers to Latino homeownership such as more access to affordable mortgage credit, the need for more culturally competent professionals in the industry and policies that address the shortage of housing inventory in many major markets.

“The State of Hispanic Homeownership Report highlights how important the Hispanic population has become in driving overall housing demand in the US, and how this influence will only continue to grow as their share of the population increases,” said Chris Herbert, managing director Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies.

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