Latinos Increase Household Wealth from $15,150 to $36,050 (2013-2019)
Despite pandemic, on track to meet the Hispanic Wealth Project goal of tripling median household wealth to $45,450 by 2024
SAN DIEGO—October 1, 2021— The National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals (NAHREP®) and the Hispanic Wealth Project™ (HWP) today announced the release of their annual State of Hispanic Wealth Report (SHWR) at the L’ATTITUDE conference. The report’s findings highlight that despite the seismic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Latino household wealth, Latinos are on track to meet the Hispanic Wealth Projects goals, primarily because of the historic levels of real estate acquisitions and home equity gains of the past few years. While Latinos continue to drive small business development, a low level of stock market participation and retirement account ownership rates continue to leave Latinos less diversified in their wealth.
“Latinos continue to lead entrepreneurial starts, labor force participation, and homeownership growth, outpacing that of other segments of the population. Our survey shows that significant knowledge gaps continue to inhibit Latinos from participating in non-cash financial investments including the stock market and retirement accounts,” said Gary Acosta, NAHREP CEO and Co-Founder.
The report’s findings include:
With a homeownership rate above 48 percent, Latinos are on track to reach the HWP goal of 50 percent homeownership rate over the next 5 years.
Wealth gains mostly driven by real estate: Residential property values make up more than half (52 percent) of Latino assets, driven by both homeownership and investment property ownership.
Homeowners have 28 times the wealth of renters: Latino homeowners have a net worth of $171,900, 28 times that of Latino renters of $6,210. With over 600,000 home purchase transactions, Latinos saw a greater increase in home purchases between 2019 and 2020 than any other demographic, with a mortgage activity up 13 percent from the year prior and 24.5 percent from 2018.
Purchasing investment properties at faster rates: Between 2016 and 2019, Latinos increased their ownership of investment properties by 33.1 percent, the highest increase of any demographic. At the same time, the non-Hispanic White, Black, and general population all decreased their rates of investment property ownership during that time period.
Forbearance rates high but home equity gains prevent losses seen in Great Recession: As of March 2021, 8.4 percent of Latino home loan borrowers were in forbearance, and 0.7 percent of Latino borrowers were at least 60 days delinquent, making them 2.3 times more likely to be in forbearance and 1.5 times more likely to be delinquent than non-Hispanic White borrowers. However, even with these alarming rates of Latinos being behind on their mortgage, home equity gains in Q2 of 2021 was $51,500 per owner household, the largest average equity gain in the past 11 years. This means, that most borrowers who are behind on their mortgage today, have accumulated enough equity that they can either refinance or sell their home at a gain, rather lose their home to foreclosures.
Down payment biggest perceived hurdle to homeownership: Over one in three Latino renters in the 2021 HWP Survey (36 percent) reported not having enough saved for a down payment as their primary reason for not buying a home, the highest of any demographic. Surveys suggests that inaccuracies exist in perceptions on how much of a down payment is needed to buy a home, particularly among Latinos.
Homeownership as a tool for building generational wealth: Less than half (44 percent) of Latinos in the 2021 HWP Survey reported growing up in a house their family owned, compared to 57 percent of non-Hispanic White households. Young adults who grow up in a home their parents owned are 7 to 8 percentage points more likely to become homeowners themselves.
Latinos are driving demand for real estate: More than half (53 percent) of Latino renters in the 2021 HWP Survey reported plans to buy a home in the next 5 years and more than a third (36 percent) of Latinos plan to buy an investment property in the next 5 years. The proportion of Latinos looking to buy an investment property this year was nearly three times that of non-Hispanic White buyers.
With 331,625 Latino employer firms, Latinos are roughly one-third of the way toward reaching the HWP goal of 400,000 Latino employer firms by 2024.
Self-employment increases wealth fivefold: Self-employed Latinos have a median net worth of $174,920, five times that of Latinos overall. Even further, self-employed Latinos with business equity, or those who have business assets, have a net worth of $314,380, almost 9 times the wealth of Latinos overall.
Engine of business growth: Growth in Latina-owned employer businesses accounted for nearly all (93 percent) of the growth in women-owned employer businesses between 2017 and 2018, employing nearly 700,000 people. Latino-owned businesses overall grew faster than the national average in over 80 percent of U.S. States and in 13 out of 15 industry sectors where Latinos do business.
Small businesses are recovering from closures: In the first few months of the pandemic, between February and March of 2020, one in three (32 percent) Latino-owned businesses had to shut down, a reduction of nearly 700,000 businesses.
Latinos have less access to capital: All things being equal, Latino business owners are 60 percent less likely to be approved for a business loan than their non-Hispanic White counterparts, requiring them to rely on personal funds at higher rates than other business owners. Latino business owners in the 2021 HWP Survey respondents were twice as likely Latinos who did not own a business to report carrying a balance on their personal credit cards (63 percent vs 36 percent).
SAVINGS AND INVESTMENTS
Between 2016 and 2019, Latinos reduced their retirement account participation by 14.1 percent, continuing the trend of having the lowest retirement account participation rate in the country. Latinos are likely not to reach the 37 percent HWP retirement account goal by 2024.
Latinos with retirement accounts have ten times the wealth: Latinos with a retirement account have a median net worth of $133,300, nearly ten times the wealth of those who do not, highlighting why these tax-advantaged investments are so critical to drive up wealth for Latinos.
Retirement account participation trending down: With a Latino retirement account participation rate at 25.5 percent, HWP goal progress in this category has remained flat.
Unfamiliarity of stock market drives low participation rates: Latinos’ primary driver of low retirement account participation is not a lack of funds, but rather unfamiliarity with how stock market-based investments work. Among 2021 HWP Survey respondents, 25 percent of Latinos report not knowing how to invest in retirement accounts, 10 percent report not thinking it is a safe investment, and 9 percent have never even heard of them.
Most likely to expect to work beyond retirement. At 15 percent, Latinos in the 2021 HWP Survey were the most likely demographic to say they have no intention to ever retire or to permanently stop working, 50 percent higher than the general population.
Lower capacity to save: As of 2019, 44.7 percent of Latino households reported that they had the capacity to save, compared to 58.6 percent of the general population, consistently the lowest among demographics over the past decade.
While Latino real estate purchases and entrepreneurial starts have been robust, formidable challenges threaten future wealth gains. Latinos have trailed all other demographics in retirement account participation, small business owners are not accessing capital at the rates necessary to effectively scale their businesses, inventory shortages are slowing home purchases, and Latinos were disproportionately impacted by the pandemic. However, even with the setbacks, Latino household wealth is set to continue on an upward trajectory, with wealth derived from real estate acquisitions offsetting some of the losses in business equity and savings and investments. As the economy continues on an unpredictable path, the demonstrated resiliency and work ethic of the Latino community remains an invaluable asset to America’s continued prosperity.
For the full report see Hispanic Wealth Report 2021.
The National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals® (NAHREP®), a nonprofit 501(c)6 trade association, is dedicated to advancing sustainable homeownership for the Hispanic community in America. NAHREP has a network of over 40,000 real estate professionals and 100 local chapters nationwide, hosting several national events per year and publishing multiple industry cornerstone reports annually. Join us in advocating for policies that grow sustainable Latino homeownership, read our 2021 policy priorities here. Also, see the NAHREP Hispanic Homeownership by Congressional District Tool which measures Hispanic homeownership by U.S. congressional district, allowing constituents, advocates, policy makers, and lending and housing professionals to evaluate district performance at a glance.
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