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Latino Homeownership Growing, but Gap Persists

Zillow reveals that Latinos are buying homes at a higher rate than the overall U.S. population, and the gap between the Hispanic and white homeownership rate has tripled since the start of the last century. 

The report found the homeownership rate gap sat at 25.8 percentage points four years ago. However, despite the recent gains, the 24.7 percentage-point gap in 2018 will take decades to close if the current pace holds. 

Racial inequity and affordability combined to compound the disparity through the past 12 decades. The average Latin household in the U.S. earns 75.7% of the typical white household income, and the typical Latin household wealth is only 12.2% of the average white wealth. 

Zillow reveals that Latin households carry a greater share of their wealth in housing—64.7% compared to 38.1%. 

The homeownership gap between Latinos and white Americans widened during and after each World War, and again during the Great Recession. Of all homes foreclosed on between January 2007 and December 2015, 19.4% were in Latin communities—but just 9.6% of all homes in the nation are in Latin neighborhoods. In comparison, 81.2% of homes are in white communities and they account for 66.4% of foreclosures during that same time. 

During the height of the housing bubble in 2007, a home accounted for 73.1% of the average Latin homeowner’s total wealth, compared to 46.5% of the typical white homeowner. 

“Because their homes accounted for a much larger share of Latinos' household wealth, they had fewer outside assets to draw on when home values plummeted and they owed more than their homes were worth,” Zillow states. “Most people who went through foreclosure were not allowed back in the market for seven years, which meant many Latinos missed out on the post-recession rebound in home values.”

Near the height of the housing bubble in 2007 a home accounted for 73.1% of the typical Latin homeowner's total wealth, compared to just 46.5% of the typical white homeowner. 

Zillow says that because their homes accounted for a larger share of Latin household wealth, they have fewer outside assets to draw on when home values fell and they owned more than their homes were worth. 

“Most people who went through foreclosure were not allowed back in the market for seven years, which meant many Latins missed out on the post-recession rebound in home values,” the report says. 

About Author: Mike Albanese

A graduate of the University of Alabama, Mike Albanese has worked for news publications since 2011 in Texas and Colorado. He has built a portfolio of more than 1,000 articles, covering city government, police and crime, business, sports, and is experienced in crafting engaging features and enterprise pieces. He spent time as the sports editor for the "Pilot Point Post-Signal," and has covered the DFW Metroplex for several years. He has also assisted with sports coverage and editing duties with the "Dallas Morning News" and "Denton Record-Chronicle" over the past several years.
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