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Addressing Hispanic Homeownership

Hispanic homeownership is lagging behind non-Hispanic white homeownership, according to a study from the Urban Institute. Urban Institute states that the gap is highest in the Northeast and smallest in the Southwest, however, Hispanic populations are smallest in the Northeast.

For example, New York City has the second-highest number of Hispanic households—almost 1.5 million—but they represent only 21% of total households. The Hispanic homeownership gap is notably larger in the Northeast than in other regions of the country.

In Utah, for example, Latinos make up 14.2% of the state’s population, according to 2018 U.S. Census Bureau data. That number is believed to be increasing in 2019. The Daily Herald reports that in Utah County, and across the state of Utah, Latino populations are not spread evenly across the state. Abraham Hernandez, Executive Director of Centro Hispano in Provo, Utah, states that Utah Latinos have been spreading out.

“Latinos are moving further down south in the county and going up really north in the county to Eagle Mountain,” Hernandez said on The Daily Herald. “We’re seeing a huge bloom of Latino populations in Eagle Mountain, to the point where we’ve actually had people request our services up there.”

“They’re weighing their options — do I buy a house, pay a little bit more, but at least I own my house, or do I pay a lot of rent, and maybe it’s not kid-friendly, maybe it’s not enough bedrooms,” Hernandez said. “Particularly when you look at how Latino families are multigenerational homes. You have grandma living there, you have your parents, and obviously the kids, so they need a bigger space.”

Two cities in the U.S. have closed the gap: Texas cities Laredo and El Paso. These cities are both majority-minority cities: 77.7% of El Paso’s households and 93.9% of Laredo’s households are Hispanic. Notably, they are also both situated on the US-Mexico border and, as such, are communities with sizeable immigrant populations. In each city, roughly a quarter of the population is foreign-born.

The Hispanic population is expected to make up more than half of all net new households in the United States over the next 25 years, and Urban notes that some changes must be made to the financing industry to address the needs of these buyers. Hispanic people on average use more cash than credit when making purchases. A lack of credit history precludes those who might otherwise be mortgage-ready from qualifying for a loan.

About Author: Seth Welborn

Seth Welborn is a contributing writer for DS News. He is a Harding University graduate with a degree in English and a minor in writing, and has studied abroad in Athens, Greece. An East Texas native, he also works part-time as a photographer.
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