Homeownership is an important driver of wealth creation in the US, with owner-occupied housing accounting for more than a quarter of assets among US households. When examining homeownership across different demographic groups, rates vary significantly, indicating that the economic and financial benefits of homeownership do not reach everyone.
A recently released NAHB special study explores the geographic differences in homeownership rates between Hispanic or Latino and white households (as well as between black and white households, the highlight of a previous blog). Figure 1 (on the first tab) shows homeownership rates among Hispanic or Latino households by county. Hispanic or Latino homeownership rates are, in general, highest in counties in the Southwest region of the US, particularly in Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona. The US household share of Hispanics or Latinos living in these states is about the same share as in California, where homeownership rates among this group are generally lower (signified by gradients of red in map).
Figure 1, on the second tab, maps the gap between white and Hispanic or Latino households on the county level. The county level gaps in homeownership rates (white homeownership rate minus Hispanic or Latino homeownership rate) are generally larger in the Northeast and smaller in the Southwest region.
To help explain the geographic differences between white and Hispanic or Latino homeownership, the special study also examines demographic and socio-economic variables previously shown to be significantly associated with homeownership, such as income, marriage rates, and age. Using these variables, a fixed effects regression model is employed. It shows that, even when controlling for age, marriage rates, and price-to-income ratios (home value to income ratios), the Hispanic or Latino homeownership rate is still about 11 percent lower than the white homeownership rate, suggesting that factors beyond what is accounted for in the model are affecting the differences. To read the special study, please click here.