Updated Feb 21, 2024 - Politics & Policy

Real estate surprise: Latinos, Asian Americans see biggest homeownership gains

Homeownership rate
Data: National Association of Realtors; Chart: Will Chase/Axios

The share of Hispanic, Black and Asian Americans who own a home grew over the past decade despite soaring interest rates in the past few years, according to the National Association of Realtors.

Why it matters: Homeownership is "Americans' biggest asset," says Jessica Lautz, deputy chief economist and vice president of research for the association.

  • "We know the typical homeowner has nearly $400,000 in wealth in comparison to the typical renter who has just over $10,000 in wealth."

Details: A report by NAR released Tuesday shows that Asians and Hispanics had the largest gains in homeownership rates from 2012 to 2022, while Black Americans had the smallest.

  • 63% of Asian Americans owned a home in 2022, compared to 57% in 2012.
  • Hispanics' share hit a record 51% in 2022, up from slightly more than 45% in 2012.
  • Black Americans' rate went from 42.5% in 2012 to 44% in 2022.
  • White Americans continue to have the highest ownership rates, increasing from 69% to 72% in the same time frame.

Between the lines: Although interest rates began to rise in 2022, peaking at nearly 8% last year, ownership rates have continued to climb, according to NAR.

  • "It's really important to note that even though we see a lower homeownership rate (for Latinos and Asian Americans) in comparison to white households, they are gaining ground," Lautz tells Axios.

Yes, but: Black and Latino households are still seeing higher denial rates for mortgage loans, Lautz says.

State of play: Geography plays a major role in homeownership for people from different racial and ethnic backgrounds.

  • Latinos (71%) and Black residents (57%) had the highest rates of homeownership in two of the poorest states — New Mexico and Mississippi, respectively.
  • That's because homes there are more affordable and there are programs that help first-time homebuyers, Lautz says.
  • Asian Americans had the highest rates in Hawaii, Maryland and South Carolina.

Subscribe to Axios Latino to get vital news about Latinos and Latin America, delivered to your inbox on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Go deeper