Many Asians in the U.S. say their lack of knowledge about the home-buying process could delay or prevent them from purchasing a home, according to a study by Freddie Mac released today.

The Asians who participated in the study also say they need to feel financially ready, stable and secure before they can consider buying a home, according to the new report, “Homeward Bound: An In-depth Look at Asian Homebuyers in the United States.”

The mortgage giant conducted 30 focus groups in mid-2005 of nearly 300 Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, Asian Indian and Filipino immigrants, American-born Asian consumers and Asian real estate professionals to gain a better understanding of the cultural norms and expectations of Asian first-time home buyers.

Although the focus groups revealed many differences among ethnicities, the report highlights recurring themes across groups that may lead to a greater understanding of the needs and expectations of Asian consumers, Freddie Mac said.

The key findings include the need by Asians to feel financially ready, stable and secure before they can consider buying a home. Also, Asians in this country have an aversion to debt and a need to determine the most cost-conscious financing package, and, according to focus group members, are hampered by a lack of knowledge about the home-buying process.

“Expanding housing opportunities for all families is at the core of Freddie Mac’s mission,” said Dwight Robinson, senior vice president of Freddie Mac. “It is our hope that this report can help the real estate and residential mortgage industries better understand and reach this burgeoning minority market.”

Asians represent the second-fastest-growing minority population in the United States, and many of these immigrant households will become homeowners in the coming decades, Freddie Mac said.

At 59.9 percent, the home-ownership rate for Asians and Pacific Islanders is higher than that of Latinos and other minority groups, but it lags behind the national average of 69.1 percent and the 75.7 percent rate for non- Hispanic whites, according to data from the U.S. Census, Freddie Mac said.

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Send tips or a Letter to the Editor to janis@inman.com or call (510) 658-9252, ext. 140.

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