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Homeownership Plans Among Hispanic Renters


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  • 1. Homeownership Plans among Hispanic Renters: Ethnic Differences or Geographic Differences?
    Russell N. James III
    Jorge H. Atiles
    University of Georgia
  • 2. U.S. Hispanic demographics
    The U.S. has the 2nd largest Hispanic population of any nation at 45.5 million in 2007 (Spain 40.4 million; Mexico 108.7 million)
    By 2020, approximately 15% of all United States households will be Hispanic (Masnick and Belsky 2006).
  • 3. U.S. Hispanic homeownership
    In 1980, 1990, and 2000, Hispanic households in the United States had the lowest rate of homeownership of any major ethnic group, falling below non-Hispanic white, non-Hispanic black, Asian, and other non-Hispanic households (Cortes, et al. 2006).
    Conversely, more recent data suggest that since 2000, Hispanic homeownership levels grew faster than either non-Hispanic white or non-Hispanic black homeownership levels (Cortes, et al. 2006).
  • 4. Factors motivating private rental sector renters to become homeowners
    Personal, family, and cultural norms can set expectations or norms for tenure (Morris & Winter, 1978).
    Environmental realities also affect these preferences.
    For example, to the extent that homeownership is seen as a profitable investment strategy, renters may be more motivated to purchase.
    Appreciation is a key factor separating owning from renting.
  • 5. Ethnic differences in appreciation?
    Simple differences in population distributions throughout the country may lead to different appreciation expectations based upon the appreciation experiences in particular regions.
    Mixed evidence on the direct impact of homeowner or neighborhood ethnicity on appreciation (Flippen, 2004; Coate and Vanderhoff, 1993)
  • 6. Study
    Examined the homeownership plans of renters in the private rental sector from 1995-2007
    Nationally-representative dataset (Survey of Consumer Finances)
  • 7. Initial findings
    Data indicate that Hispanic renters experienced a dramatic upsurge in saving for homeownership – relative to renters of other ethnic backgrounds – during the 1998, 2001, and 2004 surveys.
    This relatively higher propensity to save for homeownership largely disappeared in the 2007 survey
  • 8. Percentage of renters listing “buying own house” as one of the top two most important reasons to save
  • 9. Hispanic status predicting currently planning for a home purchase (whether saving or not) among renters
    Control variables included : Single male, Single female, Number of household members, liquid assets, Income, <High school diploma, Some college, Bachelor’s degree, Graduate degree, Age, Minor child in household, Years at current job
  • 10. Hispanic status predicting presence of saving for a home purchase among renters
    Control variables included : Single male, Single female, Number of household members, liquid assets, Income, <High school diploma, Some college, Bachelor’s degree, Graduate degree, Age, Minor child in household, Years at current job
  • 11. Explanation for the trend
    One possibility is differential price appreciation
    The SCF dataset has no public data on location of respondents
    However, we can project typical Hispanic housing appreciation observations based on state-level data
  • 12. States with the highest percentage of Hispanic population (over 10%)
    New Mexico 579,224 (38.2%)
    California 7,687,938 (25.8%)
    Texas 4,339,905 (25.5%)
    Arizona 688,338 (18.8%)
    Colorado 424,302 (12.9%)
    New York 2,214,026 (12.3%)
    Florida 1,574,143 (12.2%)
    Nevada 124,419 (10.4%)
  • 13. 2004 housing price appreciation
  • 14. 2007 housing price appreciation
  • 15.
  • 16. Discussion
    The “bubble” in Hispanic renter homeownership plans corresponded with relative housing price appreciation trends in states with large Hispanic populations such as Southern California and South Florida.
    This suggests that the move to homeownership planning may have been more of a regional economic trend, rather than an ethnic one.
  • 17. Future of renting and owning
    Post-crash housing demand suggests a systemic shift in preference from homeownership to renting.
    Higher mortgage default experience
    More stringent future mortgage underwriting obligations
    All suggest a higher demand for renting in the future.