Industry News

Far from emerging, new markets are here now

Hispanic immigrants a 'sweet spot' for real estate opportunity

It has become something of an inside joke in financial services that the so-called "emerging markets" already are here and well established. What's more, they represent a potential windfall for financiers who serve them right.  "We're mainstream already," declares Hernan Guaracao, publisher of Al Dia, a Spanish language newspaper based in Philadelphia. And, if buying power is proof, Guaracao is correct. The disposable income of Hispanic immigrants will top $1.08 trillion by the end of the decade – just four short years from now, according to the University of Georgia's Selig Center for Economic Growth. But institutional lenders in the U.S. are beginning to question whether their well-honed methods for identifying, measuring and controlling customer behavior will not fit the new breed of customers. Consider recent comments by the chair of the Mortgage Bankers Association, discussing the industry's much-prized automated underwriting procedures, used most often by lenders...