Photo: Robert Clark

Hispanics have been largely driving the growth of the US homeownership rate as their presence in the marketplace continues to expand.

But that could change as the Hispanic community faces increasing uncertainty and immigration challenges from the current White House administration, according to the newly released 2017 State of Hispanic Homeownership Report by the Hispanic Wealth Project and the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals.

Over the last three years, Hispanics have been the only demographic to increase their homeownership rate in the US. The Hispanic homeownership rate rose 0.2 percent to 46.2 percent from 2016 to 2017 — a gain of 167,000 new Hispanic homeowners. There were 7.4 million total Hispanic homeowners in the US in 2017.

The Hispanic homeownership rate reached a high of 49.7 in both 2006 and 2007, before sliding down to 46.1 in 2010. It has been steadily on the rise since.

Since 2000, Hispanics have been responsible for 46.5 percent of net US homeownership gains.

A chief reason for the surge in Hispanic homeowners is exploding population growth, with Hispanic Americans accounting for more of the nation’s population growth than any other demographic, according to the report.

By contrast, over the last ten years, non-Hispanic caucasians have lost just under 2 million homeowners. Caucasian homeowners were the only demographic to record a net loss over the last decade. Still, Caucasians account for 49 percent of all US homeowners.

“As the nation’s primary driver of population and labor force growth, and a key driver of homeownership gains, Hispanics are critical to the U.S. economy, and their access to homeownership is a key element to the nation’s economic growth,” the report says.

But the future may prove to be more challenging for Hispanic homeowners. Immigration reform in Washington and an uncertain future for their families are putting many Hispanics back on the fence when it comes to buying — which will negatively impact the homeownership rate.

“The volatility surrounding immigration reform can have an escalating impact on Hispanic consumer appetite to make the long term financial commitment required for homeownership,” the report says.

However, the report concludes that many of the factors that could contribute to a slowing of Hispanic household formations are “short term” and “solvable.”

“The Hispanic segment’s influence on homeownership gains is based on the long term impact of their combined workforce, economic, and aspirational contributions, which are expected to continue to drive homeownership for the foreseeable future.”

Click here to read the entire report.

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