Language and cultural barriers are the biggest obstacles facing Asian-American home buyers, according to a recent survey of real estate professionals conducted by the UCLA Asian American Studies Center. A lack of knowledge about the home-buying process came in at a close second.

“Often referred to as the ‘model’ minority group, one which has fully assimilated into American society, the study helped to dispel several misconceptions about the Asian-American community, including there not being a need for home-buying assistance,” said John Wong, president of the Asian Real Estate Association of America. “The results of this study demonstrate the current void of programs within the real estate industry designed to reach this underserved population.”

“The Asian consumer presents a great business opportunity for real estate professionals,” Wong said.

The survey of real estate professionals was one component of a national study entitled, “Dispelling the Model Minority Myth,” commissioned by the Asian Real Estate Association of America to identify challenges facing Asian-American home buyers.

According to the 2000 U.S. Census, Asian Americans remain the second-fastest-growing ethnic 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.

The study was conducted with financial support from Freddie Mac and Bank of America.

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