Growing homeownership rate helps in increasing household wealth among Hispanics

by Claire Brennan

Household wealth is increasing among America’s Hispanic population, according to The Hispanic Wealth Project’s 2018 Annual Report.

The Hispanic Wealth Project has been working to achieve their goal set in 2014 of tripling Hispanic household wealth by 2024. One of the three key components of that goal is increasing the homeownership rate — along with increasing the number of Hispanic-owned small businesses and getting Hispanics involved with financial assets like stocks and bonds.

“With the youngest population and the highest work force participation in America, it is clear that the financial well-being of the Hispanic community is critical to the economic strength of the whole country,” said Chairman of the Hispanic Wealth Project Jerry Ascencio.

The number of Hispanics who own homes rose for the third straight year, from 45.6 percent in 2015 to 46.2 percent (7,472,000) in 2017. According to the report, Hispanics are the only ethnicity to see an increase in rate of homeownership for three straight years.

The median Hispanic household is currently a renter, but if Hispanic homeownership rises to 50 percent, the median Hispanic household would be an owning household.

Last year, Hispanics made up 15 percent of the net homeownership gains, and account for 46.5 percent across the country since 2000. The median net worth for Hispanics also increased — from $13,700 in 2013 to $20,600 in 2016.

While 81 percent of Hispanics think that buying a home is a good long-term investment, some are discouraged from entering the market due to either a real or perceived inability to generate a sufficient downpayment.

Additionally, the report attributes the potential hesitancy of some Hispanics to buy a home to the political climate. “The challenging political environment for immigrant populations has created a strong and largely unexpected headwind…causing many Hispanics, even those with permanent status, to hold off on making long-term financial commitments, such as retirement savings or purchasing a home.”