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Study highlights gains and barriers Latinx community faces in housing market

House in Colorado Springs
Posted at 12:35 PM, Oct 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-17 18:46:11-04

COLORADO SPRINGS — A new study finds close to half of Latinx households in the U.S. own their home, the highest share since the Great Recession of 2008. While recent signs are encouraging, a new Zillow analysis reveals remaining roadblocks on the path to equitable housing.

Latinx Americans are a massive and diverse group, with more than 200 unique ancestries among the 60 million who live in the U.S., and their homeownership gains in recent years have far exceeded those of other groups. About 18 percent of the U.S. population identifies as Latinx, yet they have accounted for more than 60 percent of new U.S. homeowner gains over the past decade. That growth has brought the Latinx homeownership rate to 48.9 percent, the highest level since 2008.

In Colorado Springs, the homeownership rate is 51 percent among the Latinx community. In Denver, that number is 50 percent. Population scientist Manny Garcia says even though these gains are remarkable, there are still barriers the Latinx community faces in the housing market.

“While Latinx households have made recent gains in ownership, longstanding inequities in inter-generational wealth and other systemic barriers continue to impede Latinx Americans from reaching parity with the U.S. population as a whole,” Garcia said. “Latinx home buyers are more likely to face challenges during the process, with financing the purchase often reported as a primary concern. Even within the Latinx community, wealth inequality could help explain the varying homeownership rates of people of different origins.”

A disparity in household wealth is likely a major contributor. The typical Latinx household earns about 75% of the typical Caucasian household as of 2018. Caucasian households also hold more than eight times the amount of overall wealth of Latinx households.

Those who more recently moved to the U.S. are less likely to own a home -- perhaps explaining why the homeownership rate among first-generation Latinx Americans (46 percent) is lower than among other generations (50 percent). The study also found Latinx Americans of Spanish descent have the highest homeownership rate at 63 percent.