For the third consecutive year, the percentage of Hispanics who own homes rose in 2017; the only demographic in the U.S. for which that statement is true.

Courtesy 2017 State of Hispanic Homeownership Report
Courtesy 2017 State of Hispanic Homeownership Report

In 2017, the Hispanic home-ownership rate was 46.2%, up from 46% in 2016 and from 45.6% in 2015, according to the 2017 State of Hispanic Homeownership Report. The number of Hispanic households totaled 7.47 million in 2017, an increase of 167,000 from 2016. In fact, the number of Hispanic households has increased every year since 2010 (the rate of home ownership did decline from 2013 to 2014, though) when it totaled 6.2 million.

Citing U.S. Census Bureau data, the report notes that the overall U.S. home ownership rate increased for the first time in 13 years, improving from 63.4% in 2016 to 63.9% in 2017. Overall U.S. home ownership gains in 2017 totaled 1,109,000 owner households for all population segments while Hispanics accounted for 15% of the net home ownership gains, a smaller percentage than has been the case in recent prior years.

According to the report, which is from the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals (NAHREP) and the Hispanic Wealth Project (HWP), Hispanics have been responsible for 46.5% of net U.S. home ownership gains since 2000.

Non-Hispanic white households added 543,000 net homeowners last year and represented 49% of home ownership gains, the report states. However, the authors note, “non-Hispanic whites lost 1.9 million home owners over the past decade, and were the only demographic to experience a net loss over that period and have lost nearly as many home owners over that time as those added by all other demographics combined.

At the 2018 NAHREP Housing Policy & Hispanic Lending Conference in Washington, D.C. late last month, speakers were adamant that the trends illustrated in the report are likely to expand in the coming years. “Hispanics are just aging into the age group where they begin to form households and they begin to buy homes,” said Laurie Goodman, co-director of the Housing Finance Policy Center at the Urban Institute. “In the next decade I really think that…all net new home ownership is going to be Hispanic.”

There are currently 58.6 million U.S. Hispanics. Fueled primarily by native births, the report notes that the Hispanic population increased in 2017 by 1.1 million, accounting for 51% of the total U.S. population growth. While the fastest growing Hispanic markets are in locations like Russell County, Ala.; Bryan County, Ga; and Luzerne County, Penn., more than half of the country’s Hispanic population continues to be located in California (15.3 million), Texas (10.9 million,) and Florida (5.1 million).

“Hispanic population density across high cost markets in these three states influenced household formations in 2017, a predictor of home ownership growth potential,” the report states.

Keith Bickel, senior vice president, head of retail diverse segments for Bank of America, said a “demographic wave” is coming. “And that wave is a powerful one and it’s not just millennials,” he said at the NAHREP conference.

Courtesy 2017 State of Hispanic Homeownership Report
Courtesy 2017 State of Hispanic Homeownership Report

Hispanics accounted for 265,000 new household formations, or, 28.6% of total U.S. household formations last year, a slowing since 2016 when 340,000 net Hispanic households were formed. “Considering Hispanic population increases occurred at a similar pace to recent years, the variation in household formations could be due to the fact that half of Hispanics reside in high cost states where rents have increased substantially and inventory available for sale is at decade low numbers causing a delay in the forming of new households,” the report says.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau and cited in the report, the Hispanic population is projected to continue its growth trajectory to 119 million by 2060, representing nearly 30% of the nation’s population by that time. Hispanics are also the youngest racial or ethnic demographic in the country. As of 2014, the median age for Hispanics was 28 years old, 15 years younger than that of non-Hispanic Whites (43 years old).

By 2024, the report adds, Hispanics are projected to lead U.S. household growth, adding 6 million additional Hispanic households.