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Hispanics Dominate Among First-Time Homebuyer Demographic

by Peter Thomas Ricci

According to new research from the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals, homeownership among Hispanics is surging.

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Hispanics have been garnering increasing attention in recent months for their growing importance to the U.S. housing market, and a new study from the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals, or NAHREP, adds further confirmation to the demographics buying power.

According to NAHREP’s research, Hispanics comprised 51 percent of new owner households in 2012, or, more than 350,000 households.

Hispanic Homebuyers in the U.S. Housing Market

Other details that NAHREP specified include:

  • Hispanics have now formed more than one million households in the last two years, making them the fastest growing group of first-time homebuyers in the U.S.
  • Hispanic purchasing power currently exceeds $1 trillion, and economist expect that number to grow to $1.5 trillion by 2015.
  • Those expansions, NAHREP said, can be attributed to two things: Hispanics’ strong population growth, and the demographic’s growing economic prosperity; Hispanics accounted for half of the U.S.’ job growth in 2012, and 40 percent of Hispanic households now earn more than $50,000 a year.

NAHREP Acts in Support of First-Time Hispanic Homebuyers

Juan Martinez, the president of NAHREP, said that the economic gains of Hispanics and Latinos are made all the more impressive by the fact that they are taking place during a period of sluggish economic growth.

“Despite a difficult economic environment and a tight mortgage market, Latinos are making gains in all the ways that make them ready for homeownership,” Martinez said.

However, Martinez did caution that, like much of the U.S. homebuying public, Hispanic homebuyers are grappling with a shortage of appropriate housing inventory, and Jerry Ascendio, the president and CEO of NAHREP, said that the association will also be confronting another key issue in the current housing market – strict lending standards.

“We are walking to the Hill and asking our representatives to send a congressional letter to the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the Federal Housing Administration and The Department of Housing and Urban Development urging them to make owner-occupancy a national priority,” Ascendio said.

The loosening of mortgage standards has been a major concern for agents and analysts of all demographics, but perhaps NAHREP lobbying efforts (particularly with Hispanic homebuyers growing prominence) will be successful?

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