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Real estate broker Alex Betances sits in front of a home in Reading, Pa. Photo: Ryan McFadden/MediaNews Group/Reading Eagle via Getty Image

Latinos increased their homeownership rate to nearly 50% in 2020, according to a report from a group monitoring U.S. Hispanic wealth creation.

Why it matters: The Hispanic Wealth Project found that the homeownership rate grew despite the lack of diversified financial assets among Latinos and around 15% who still live below the federal poverty line ($26,500 for a family of four).

The big picture: Homeownership in the U.S. is viewed as a key factor to building personal wealth and Latinos are narrowing the gap but still lag behind their white counterparts.

  • By contrast, the homeownership rate for white Americans for the same time period was 74.5% — a nine-year high, the U.S. Census Bureau found.
  • The Hispanic homeownership rate in 2013, when the project began following those trends, was 46%.

By the numbers: Between 2016 and 2019, Latinos increased their ownership of investment properties by 33.1%, the largest increase of any demographic, according to the 2021 State of Hispanic Wealth Report.

  • Latino homeowners have a net worth of $171,900, 28 times that of Latino renters at $6,210, the report found.
  • The wealth gap between Latino families and their white counterparts narrows considerably when comparing the household wealth of Latino homeowners ($171,900) to that of white homeowners ($299,900).
  • The Hispanic Wealth Project calculated the Hispanic homeownership rate using U.S. Census homeownership trajectory over the last 10 years and other data from the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals.

Yes, but: As of March 2021, 8.4% of Latino home loan borrowers were in forbearance or loan deferment, and 0.7% of Latino borrowers were at least 60 days delinquent, the report warned.

  • That makes them 2.3 times more likely to be in forbearance and 1.5 times more likely to be delinquent than white borrowers, the data suggested.
  • The financial struggles coincided with the disproportionate effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on communities of color, the report argued.

The intrigue: The NAHREP in 2014 established the Hispanic Wealth Project, an initiative born out of the massive economic downturn from 2007 and 2009 known as the Great Recession.

  • During the Great Recession, Latinos lost up to two-thirds of their median household wealth, NAHREP said.
  • The organization wants to triple Hispanic household wealth by 2024.

Be smart: More than half (53%) of Latino renters in the 2021 HWP Survey reported plans to buy a home in the next 5 years.

Go deeper: Report: U.S. Latino GDP tied with France, greater than Italy

Get more news that matters about Latinos in the hemisphere, delivered right to your inbox on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Sign up for the Axios Latino newsletter.

Go deeper

Updated Dec 7, 2021 - Economy & Business

The billionaire balloon

Data: World Inequality Report 2022; Chart: Axios Visuals

The super-rich are getting stupid rich: New data out today shows the share of global wealth held by the richest slice of humanity swelled by almost a full percentage point during the pandemic.

Driving the news: The top 0.01% of individuals now hold about 11% of the world's wealth, compared to just over 10% in 2020, according to the "World Inequality Report 2022," written by Lucas Chancel, Thomas Piketty, Emmanuel Saez and Gabriel Zucman.

WarnerMedia-Discovery merger faces questions over Latino programming

Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-Texas). Photo: Jacquelyn Martin/AP Photo/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-Texas) and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) want the Justice Department to review closely a proposed merger of WarnerMedia and Discovery over concerns it could limit programming and opportunities for Latino creators.

Why it matters: Castro has been leading a campaign to pressure media companies to hire more diverse staff and produce more programming with people of color. Media mergers could make that more challenging.

New Zealand aims to create smoke-free generation with tobacco ban

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern at a December news conference in Auckland, New Zealand. Photo: Phil Walter/Getty Images

New Zealand officials announced Thursday legislative plans to outlaw smoking by making it illegal to sell or supply tobacco products to the next generation as part of a lifetime ban.

Why it matters: "People aged 14 when the law comes into effect will never be able to legally purchase tobacco," Associate Health Minister Ayesha Verrall said in a statement announcing the proposed law, part of the Smokefree 2025 Action Plan.

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