That’s according to the 2017 State of Hispanic Homeownership Report, a publication of the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals® (NAHREP®) and the Hispanic Wealth Project™.

“That number has increased for three consecutive years,” says Gary Acosta, the co-founder and CEO of NAHREP®, a nonprofit trade association.

Hispanics are the only racial demographic to have three consecutive years of gains post-housing crisis. The national average for homeownership across all demographics is 63.9 percent.

The numbers

“There is a very strong desire for homeownership in the Hispanic community,” says Acosta.

Hispanic homeownership has been boosted by three factors: in 2017, the Hispanic population grew by 1 million; last year, there was a net increase of 167,000 new owner households in the U.S.; and over 66 percent of adult Hispanics in the workforce.

Over half of the country’s Hispanic population live in California, Texas and Florida; states such as Kansas, Iowa and Utah have recently seen large Hispanic population growth as well.

Challenges

Despite the growth in homeownership, Hispanics still face challenges, including a lack of affordable housing, access to credit and cultural hurdles.

“This is a very complex transaction, a very emotional transaction for anybody,” says Acosta, who explains buying a home can be even more nuanced for Hispanics who may have language barriers, a lack of experience buying property and uncertainty about the process.

Over 54 percent of U.S. Hispanics are bilingual and 18.2 percent are Spanish language-dominant.

NAHREP is encouraging real estate professionals, lenders and others in the housing industry to diversify their workforce. “We estimate we’ll need double the professionals in the marketplace that have those cultural skill sets, including language capabilities to meet the demand of the buyer population,” he says.

Growing wealth

“The subject of wealth is not discussed frequently within Hispanic households,” says Acosta, explaining home equity is a primary source of wealth for most families, especially Hispanic families.

NAHREP has partnered with The Hispanic Wealth Project (HWP) to help Latinos build and sustain generational wealth. They created a business plan to help the Hispanic community triple household wealth over a span of 10 years. The number one objective is for all NAHREP real estate professionals to acquire a mature understanding of prosperity and wealth, which they can share within the Latino community.

The plan has three components: getting the homeownership rate above 50 percent within the next six years; providing resources so small Hispanic businesses can learn how to grow their companies; and helping Hispanics with debt investments such as 401(k) plans.

Acosta is excited about the future of Hispanic wealth and homeownership and advises would-be buyers: “Find yourself a good agent who you trust, who understands your situation and can help you navigate through the process successfully.”