Where will the housing market turn in the near future? A new report suggests a move toward Latinos:
1. Hispanic Homeownership – Since 2000, the number of Hispanic owner households has increased from 4.242 million to 6.810 million, a rise of 60.54 percent; in just the last four years, in fact, Hispanic owner households have risen 614,000.
2. Hispanic Households – When we extend our parameters to overall households, the numbers are even more stunning. In 2014, the number of Hispanic households grew by 320,000, or 40 percent of total U.S. household growth.
3. The Hispanic Population – Since 1970, the Hispanic population has increased by 592 percent. No, that is not a typo! Even more, the Hispanic population is expected to reach 120 million by 2050, more than double what it is today.
4. Hispanics in the Labor Force – Thus far in the new millennium, Hispanics have accounted for 65 percent of the growth in the U.S. labor force, and every year, one million U.S.-born Latinos enter adulthood; with numbers like that, it’s no surprise that Hispanic purchasing power is $1.5 trillion, and is projected to grow to $2.0 trillion by 2020 (that’s an increase of $500 billion!).
5. Hispanics in Housing – Sixty-five percent of top agents NAHREP surveyed expected 2015 to be a “breakout year” for Hispanic homeownership, but NAHREP’s report pulled no punches on the considerable barriers that remain for homebuyers, among them a lack of affordable housing, competition from cash investors and tight lending standards – problems will have to be overcome before homeownership can truly take off.
Reasons #2-4 involve demographics: an increasing population leading to more households and workers. Reasons #1 and 5 address more Hispanics getting involved in the housing market: an increasing number of owners, optimism from realtors, and factors limiting even more Hispanics from owning homes.
The demographics are suggestive but the evidence in reasons #1 and 5 is limited. Census figures from the last quarter of 2014 suggest there is still a long ways to go: the homeownership rate for non-Hispanic white alones was 72.3% but only 44.5% for Hispanic (of any race) and 42.1% for Black alone. A growing population and jobs alone are not enough; homeownership often involves consistently good jobs and wealth as well as access to capital and housing at cheaper levels of the housing market where homeowners can get a start.