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Latinx Homeownership Faces ‘Roadblocks’

Both lending inequities and limited household wealth have been holding Latinx homebuyers back since, at least, the Great Recession, according to a Zillow study published Monday. While roadblocks remain, the report indicates, "remarkable growth this half-decade has boosted the share of Latinx households in the U.S. that own their home to its highest since the housing bust."

Within the Latinx American demographic there exists "more than 200 unique ancestries among the 60 million who live in the U.S.," Zillow reported, adding that their homeownership gains in recent years have outpaced that of other groups.

Latinx Americans account for about 18% of the U.S. population and about 60% of new homeowner gains in the country, during the past 10 years. That growth brings the Latinx homeownership rate to 48.9%, the highest level since 2008.

This particular group was hit disproportionately hard during the 2008 recession, Zillow has reported: Less than 10% of all U.S. homes are in largely Latinx communities, yet 19.4% of all homes foreclosed upon between 2007 and 2015 were in these neighborhoods, its earlier study showed. After gains in the 1990s and early 2000s, this contributed to the Latinx homeownership rate falling to 44.1% in 2015— the lowest since 1998.

"While Latinx households have made recent gains in ownership, longstanding inequities in intergenerational wealth and other systemic barriers continue to impede Latinx Americans from reaching parity with the U.S. population as a whole," says Manny Garcia, population scientist at Zillow. "Latinx home buyers are more likely to face challenges during the process, with financing the purchase often reported as a primary concern. Even within the Latinx community, wealth inequality could help explain the varying homeownership rates of people of different origins."

Latinx homeownership continues to lag, Zillow said, "more than 10 percentage points behind the rate for Asian, Native, Hawaiian and Pacific Islander households, and nearly 25 percentage points behind non-Latinx white households."

Anther factor could be household wealth, Zillow reported:

"The typical Latinx household earns about 75% of the typical white household as of 2018, but that typical white household held more than eight times the amount of overall wealth. That means Latinx households carry a far greater share of their wealth in their homes, adding to the pain caused by the Great Recession," noted Zillow. "Those who more recently moved to the U.S. are less likely to own a home -- perhaps explaining why the homeownership rate among first-generation Latinx Americans (46%) is lower than among other generations (50%)—as are those coming from less wealthy backgrounds. Latinx Americans of Spanish descent have the highest homeownership rate at 63%, while households headed by someone of Dominican descent have the lowest at 29%."

The full breakdown can be found on Zillow.com. The company explained that for the purpose of the analysis, "Latinx" refers to people and heads of household that identify with at least one Hispanic, Latino or Spanish origin.

About Author: Christina Hughes Babb

Christina Hughes Babb is a reporter for DS News and MReport. A graduate of Southern Methodist University, she has been a reporter, editor, and publisher in the Dallas area for more than 15 years. During her 10 years at Advocate Media and Dallas Magazine, she published thousands of articles covering local politics, real estate, development, crime, the arts, entertainment, and human interest, among other topics. She has won two national Mayborn School of Journalism Ten Spurs awards for nonfiction, and has penned pieces for Texas Monthly, Salon.com, Dallas Observer, Edible, and the Dallas Morning News, among others.
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