Hispanic home ownership is skyrocketing, providing an important driver to the rebounding U.S. housing market, according to a new study by the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals.
Hispanics accounted for 355,000, or 51 percent, of the total net increase of 693,000 owner households in the U.S. in 2012, the study found.
From 2000 to 2012, Hispanic homeownership increased 58 percent, from 4.2 million to 6.7 million homes. The non-Hispanic U.S. population reported just a five percent increase during the same period.
The Hispanic community has remained remarkably resilient during the soft economy, according to Gary Acosta, chief executive of NAHREP and editor of the study. Hispanics view homeownership as a status symbol, with 56 percent of respondents to the survey saying that homes are seen as a symbol of success, which is a major motivation for buying, he said. Less than a third of non-Hispanics offered the same view.
"It really speaks to the core reason why so many Hispanics buy homes," Mr. Acosta told Hispanic Business. "They are looking for economic opportunities, and homeownership provides a more stable economic environment."
Part of the increase is simply a factor of demographics. The number of Hispanic households in the U.S. grew from 9.2 million in 2000 to 15.5 million in 2012, while the non-Hispanic showed very little growth. In 2012, more than one million Hispanic households were formed, compared to a decrease of 704,000 white households.
The trend is expected to continue, with Hispanics predicted to account for 40 percent of the estimated 12 million to 14 million net new households created within the next decade, the study found.
"If you are a (real estate agent) in markets such as North Carolina, Idaho, Utah, California, Arizona or New Jersey, you need to have a strategy to target this (demographic)," Mr. Acosta said.