The median household wealth for U.S. Latinos is set to triple by 2024 — largely due to recent real estate gains. This information comes from data released by the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals (NAHREP®) at the Latino-driven business conference L’ATTITUDE on Oct. 1. Despite the overall hit that Latino wealth took during the COVID-19 pandemic, Latinos are meeting the goals of the Hispanic Wealth Project (HWP). Between 2013 and 2019, the median wealth increased from $15,150 to $36,050.
Commenting on the trends, Gary Acosta, the NAHREP® CEO and co-founder, said, “Latinos continue to lead entrepreneurial starts, labor force participation and homeownership growth, outpacing that of other segments of the population.” Currently, the rate of Latino homeownership sits at 48%: well on the way to reaching the five-year 50% goal. Residential property value now makes up more 52% of Latino assets, a statistic that’s driven both by homeownership and other property investments. In fact, between 2016 and 2019, investment property ownership grew by 33.1%: the highest increase among any demographic.
That’s a significant development but providing a down payment remains the biggest apparent barrier to Latino homeownership. According to the 2021 HWP survey, 36% of Latino renters did not have enough saved for a down payment on a home: the highest percentage of any demographic. Although, NAHREP® reports that there is misinformation in the Latino community as to the amount that’s truly needed for a down payment. “Our survey shows that significant knowledge gaps continue to inhibit Latinos from participating in non-cash financial investments,” Acosta said.
Additionally, the data showed, 8.4% of Latino home loan borrowers were in forbearance as of March 2021. Coupled with the .7% of borrowers who were at least 60% delinquent, it appears that Latino borrowers are more likely to be behind on their mortgages. Then again, home equity gains among the Latino community were strong. During the second quarter of 2021, the average home equity gain per owner was $51,000: the largest average gain in the past 11 years. This means that most borrowers behind on their mortgages do have the opportunity to sell or refinance.
Still, considering that homeownership is a building block for generational wealth, the findings from NAHREP® demonstrate meaningful progress for Latino wealth. Young adults who grew up in a home owned by their parents are 7-8% more likely to eventually own a home themselves. As of now, 44% of Latinos fit that description. And the number is growing. According to the 2021 HWP Survey, in the next five years, 53% of Latinos plan to buy a home. Thirty-six percent plan to buy an investment. In all, the proportion of Latinos looking to invest in real estate nearly triples that of white buyers.