While Hispanic Americans have historically underrepresented as homeowners, progress is being made toward closing the gap, according to data from a new survey released last week by realtor.com® in conjunction with The National Association for Hispanic Real Estate Professionals (NAHREP).
Survey results found that 58% of Hispanic American home shoppers are looking to buy their first home. This is substantially higher than the population at large, where first-time buyers make up 34% of all home buyers nationally, according to the National Association of REALTORS®. The survey also showed that homeownership can be viewed as a way to build generational wealth, that many Latinos plan to pass a home on to their children, and that they are likely to consider extended family in their home search process.
Realtor.com® and HarrisX surveyed 1,002 Hispanic Americans online in January to learn about their views on home buying and homeownership.
Closing the homeownership gap for Hispanic Americans
The survey found that 41% of respondents own the home that they live in, which is lower than the national average of 66%, according to census data. However, 39% of those surveyed are currently looking to buy a home, which suggests that Hispanic Americans are making strides toward closing the homeownership gap.
Building generational wealth
Twenty-three percent of those surveyed said that they are or would be the first generation in their family to own a home. Additionally, 71% of respondents/their siblings haven’t inherited a family home, but an incredible 73% plan to pass a home on to their children someday. With home values increasing at staggering rates over the last few years, wealth gained from owning a home over the long term could be significant. The 2017 Census showed that homeowners’ median wealth was 89 times higher than that of renters.
Down payment assistance can help, but awareness is low
There are a number of programs available to help first-time homebuyers break into the market, but awareness of these programs is low. More than half (55%) of non-homeowners have neither used nor heard of these programs. However, 35% of homeowners surveyed had successfully used one of these programs, showing that the programs do work and increasing awareness of them is important in continuing to close the homeownership gap for Hispanic Americans. To help homebuyers navigate the process, realtor.com® developed a free First-time Homebuying 101 ebook, which is available in English and Spanish.
Considering extended family in the home buying process
The survey also found that while most respondents don’t live in a household with more than two generations (83%), family is an important consideration during the homebuying process. Two-thirds (66%) of respondents would consider extended family in their home search. The most important considerations are:
- Buying a home that is close to extended family (27%)
- Having room for overnight visitors (22%)
- Buying a home that can accommodate extended family living in the home long-term (17%)
“As Latinos are predicted to account for 70% of new homeowners over the next 20 years, insights into Latino homebuying will be critical to understanding how to sustain growth in the housing market,” said Gary Acosta, co-founder and CEO of NAHREP.
“Homeownership can be a way to build generational wealth for families, but there are significant barriers to entry, especially in today’s high-priced and fast-moving housing market,” said George Ratiu, manager of economic research, Realtor.com®. “There are a number of programs available to help first-time buyers break into the market, but many people either don’t know that these programs exist or don’t know where to start in finding one that works for their situation.”
For more information, download NAHREP’s State of Hispanic Homeownership Report or visit realtor.com/espanol.
For more information, visit Realtor.com®.