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Perspectives
October 06, 2014

The Future of Homeownership Starts Here: Hispanics

Christina Diaz-Malone
By
Christina Diaz-Malone, VP Housing and Community Outreach

If you are wondering who tomorrow's homebuyers will be, look no further than the nation's fastest-growing population segment – Hispanics.

With population growth that is expected to more than double to about 128 million by 2060, Hispanics are poised to lead housing demand in the coming years. Their influence can already be seen when you consider the number of Hispanic households owning their homes grew by 59 percent between 2000 and 2013 – compared to an increase of just 8 percent for total owner households. Look ahead just a few years and Hispanics are expected to account for up to 40 percent of all new households by 2025.

Beyond sheer population growth driving housing demand, Hispanics also have a strong desire for homeownership. For Hispanic families, homeownership is a source of pride, freedom, and safety. They also see owning a home of their own as a good financial investment and, more importantly, a good place to raise a family and plant roots in a community. As such, Hispanics are more likely than the general population to consider buying a home in the next few years.

To prepare this rising and influential generation of Hispanics for successful homeownership and to help them overcome barriers they may face to achieve it, we are working closely with housing counselors, non-profits, and other organizations in three important ways:

1. Financial Education: With the United States Hispanic Leadership Institute, we are teaching high school and college age Hispanics about the importance of good credit and life-long money management skills through our award-winning CreditSmart® curriculum. Building strong financial literacy skills among young Hispanics has a powerful ripple effect within Hispanic communities as family and friends are an important source for financial information and decision making.

2. Pre-Purchase Counseling: Working with our Borrower Help Centers, the National Council of La Raza and other non-profits, we offer pre-purchase counseling to prepare prospective homebuyers for successful long-term homeownership. Pre-purchase counseling through trusted intermediaries is a proven model for success – a 2013 Freddie Mac study suggests that for first-time homebuyers in particular, pre-purchase counseling reduces delinquencies by as much as 29 percent.

3. Down payment and Closing Cost Assistance: Across the country, we are holding realtor summits in partnership with the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals to educate real-estate professionals on a wide range of topics related to housing. This includes increasing awareness about local and state programs that can help Hispanics bridge down payment and closing cost gaps, one of the biggest barriers Hispanics face in purchasing a home.

Homeownership helps build strong communities, a healthy national economy, and wealth for families. We have an opportunity to help the growing Hispanic population participate fully in the benefits homeownership provides. To support this goal, our work with our trusted intermediaries is helping to provide the knowledge and resources that the rising generation of Hispanic homebuyers need to realize their dream of owning a home.

* Christina Diaz-Malone left her position with Freddie Mac in 2015.

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