Hispanics poised to be ‘Mega-Force’ in housing
Still saddled with a huge overhang of distressed properties and lackluster demand, it seems the housing market could really use a knight in shining armor to slay the metaphorical dragons choking its growth.
According to a study released this month, that white knight could come in the form of Latino homebuyers who are expected to provide a deep well of housing interest over the next decade, propelling demand for condos, starter homes, and trade-up homes.
“The demographic trends all line up for Hispanics to be a prime demographic for homeownership,” says Gary Acosta, co-founder and acting executive director of the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals. “We’re seeing very strong indicators that Hispanics are going to be 40 to 50 percent of all new homebuyers for the foreseeable future.”
There are a few factors that make Acosta and other industry experts think that. For starters, Hispanics have been a huge engine of population growth over the past decade, and over the next decade they’re expected to account for 40 percent of the estimated 12 million net new U.S. households, a huge predictor of future housing demand.
Hispanics also have the highest labor force participation rate in the nation, according to the report, with nearly two thirds of all working-age Latinos employed.
Even considering the scourge of subprime lending and foreclosure crisis, which disproportionately hurt Hispanics especially in states such as California, heightened housing demand among Latinos is already starting to materialize, Acosta says.
“It was sort of surprising to us. The resilience within the Latino community for homeownership seems as strong or stronger than ever,” Acosta says. “They view homeownership as a vehicle for stabilization to create a better living environment for their family and not as much as an investment. Because of that, the enthusiasm for homeownership hasn’t waned a whole lot.”