By Peter Ricci
New household formation increased by 125,000 year-over-year in 2012’s second quarter to 74.8 households, and amidst those increases, one ethnic group stood apart: Hispanic homebuyers.
While white and black households declined (by 649,000 and 81,000, respectively), Hispanic households grew, forming 453,000 new owner households in the same period and accounting for 53 percent of total new households for minorities.
The Arrival of the Hispanic Homebuyer
The data is further confirmation of something we’ve reported on before: that Hispanics are having a greater and greater impact on the U.S. housing market. Some other important stats to consider:
- The Hispanic homeownership rate currently stands at 46.5 percent, compared with 65.4 percent for the U.S.
- As HousingWire noted, the homeownership rate for Latinos has been growing gradually since 2000, rising from 4.1 million owner households to 6.7 million, a 63 percent increase; in the same time period, the homeownership rate for whites has increased just 2.3 percent.
- Hispanics have also been quite active on the rental market, contributing to 554,000 new rental units in the last year. When combined with the aforementioned 453,000 households, that’s more than 1 million new housing units.
- And as we’ve reported before, the Hispanic homebuyer demographic is only expected to grow: purchasing power for Hispanics is expected to grow by 50 percent to $1.6 trillion in the next two years, and in the next 10 years, they’re expected to make up 40 percent of new households.
The Factors of Homeownership
Alejandro Becerra, a housing economist and former senior housing fellow at the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute, said the growing prevalence of Hispanic homebuyers underscores housing’s importance to the economy.
“The persistent growth of Hispanic homeownership even in the midst of a lagging economy underscores a basic reality,” he said.”First-time minority homebuyers, led by the burgeoning population growth and purchasing power of Hispanics and Asians, are the key to America’s housing and economic recovery.”