Wave of Hispanic Buyers Boosts U.S. Housing Market

Eyra Colindres closed on a $235,000 two-bedroom home in San Bernardino, Calif., last year. Hispanics accounted for nearly 63% of new U.S. homeowner gains over the past decade. PHOTO: ALLISON ZAUCHA FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

Hispanics are experiencing the largest homeownership gains of any ethnic group in the U.S., a turnaround for the population hardest hit by the housing bust that could help buoy the market for years.

The homeownership rate for Hispanics has increased more during the past several years than any race or ethnic group, including whites. The rate, which hit a 50-year low in 2015, has risen 3.3 percentage points since then, according to U.S. Census Bureau data. The overall U.S. homeownership rate bottomed in the second quarter of 2016 and has grown 1.3 percentage points since then. While Hispanics comprise only 18% of the U.S. population, the group accounted for nearly 63% of new U.S. homeowner gains over the past decade, according to the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals. New homeowners include people buying first homes and those coming back into the market after a foreclosure.

The group’s homeownership has risen alongside gains in income and education and a growing familiarity with the U.S. mortgage market. The Latin community also has a large millennial population entering the age of homeownership.

Read more by Laura Kusisto and Ben Eisen at www.wsj.com