Urban Institute: Gap slowly closing for Hispanic homeownership

While the rate of homeownership for Hispanics has grown in the past few years, a recent study by Urban Institute shows that only two U.S. cities have successfully closed the gap between Hispanic and non-Hispanic white ownership. 

The two cities, El Paso and Laredo, Texas, are both majority-minority and located close to the Texas-Mexico border. In order to analyze the homeowner gap, Urban Institute studied the 100 U.S. cities with the largest number of Hispanic households. The institute then compared the rate of homeownership of Hispanic and non-Hispanic white households to determine the gap between the two.

For example, in El Paso, one of the two cities that closed the gap, the Hispanic homeownership rate (63.9%) is 4.1% higher than the white homeownership rate, according to the study.

In Laredo, Hispanic homeownership is 61.5%, which is 2.8% higher than the city’s white homeownership rate.

The two Texas cities are anomalies, however, with the other 98 studied cities still possessing a gap. According to the study, the gap is largest in the Northeast. Urban Institute conjectures that this is largely due to population.

“Our analysis shows that as the Hispanic share of a metropolitan area’s population grows, the size of the homeownership gap tends to decline,” the study states. 

That said, even cities with large Hispanic populations may still have large gaps in homeownership. For example, New York City has the second-highest number of Hispanic households – almost 1.5 million, according to the report – but they represent only 21% of total households.

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