The number of Asian Americans who rent their homes is more than 10 percent higher than the overall U.S. population, according to preliminary results of a national study focused on Asian-American home ownership. The study found that 47 percent of Asian households rent, compared to 34 percent of the general population.

The Asian-American Home Ownership study, commissioned by the Asian Real Estate Association of America, in partnership with the UCLA Asian American Studies Center, seeks to identify obstacles facing Asian Americans as they relate to housing and home ownership.

According to the 2000 U.S. Census, Asian Americans remain the fastest-growing racial population, numbering more than 12 million or approximately 4.5 percent of the total U.S. population. This group is expected to triple in size by the year 2050. Yet despite evidence of a prosperous community, national Asian-American home-ownership rates fall behind that of non-Hispanic whites by approximately 20 percent.

“While Census data and other sources reveal a population that has made great strides in the workforce, business, education and almost every other aspect of American life, the Asian American population remains a bifurcated one, with many families and individuals struggling to realize dreams of a better life, including the pursuit of home ownership,” said John Yen Wong, president of the Asian Real Estate Association of America. “These preliminary findings further affirm AREAA’s mission to explore and expand the awareness of housing challenges facing Asian Americans.”

Preliminary study results also indicate 84 percent of Asian households who do own their home possess a mortgage, contract-to-purchase or other similar form of debt, dispelling the common misconception that Asians conduct business in a purely cash economy. By comparison, 70 percent of the general population possesses a mortgage or similar contract.

The Asian American Home Ownership Study is being conducted with financial support from Freddie Mac and Bank of America. Final results of the study will be published in November 2004.

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