Asian Americans have seen the fastest growth in home-ownership attainment since 2000 of any population and their income and credit profile suggests that this growth will continue into the future, according to a new study that delves into the demographic trends and unique challenges within this group.

The study, released Wednesday from the Asian Real Estate Association of America (AREAA) and the UCLA Asian American Studies Center, looked at key demographic trends such as population, home ownership and housing, income, language and immigration to gain a better understanding of the socioeconomic status of Asian Americans across the nation.

Brian Montgomery, FHA commissioner and assistant secretary for housing, stated, “For FHA, this study highlights the need for additional product flexibility, such as that proposed in the Expanding Homeownership Act of 2006, to reach all segments of the Asian American home-buying market. We plan to work closely with AREAA to design and offer innovative and suitable insurance products to increase home-ownership opportunities for Asian American families.”

The report examines disaggregated census data on Asian Americans at the national, state and regional level, focusing on the top 25 metropolitan areas with the largest Asian American populations. These areas include: Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Fresno, Honolulu, Houston, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis, New York, Norfolk, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Portland, Sacramento, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, Stockton, Tampa and Washington, D.C.

Some of the findings are:

  • In 2004, more than half of the Asian population lived in just three states: California (34 percent), New York (15 percent), and Hawaii (5 percent).

  • Settlement patterns at the regional level show a greater number of Asian Americans moving to southern metropolitan areas such as: Asian Indians and Vietnamese in Dallas, Texas; Koreans and Vietnamese in Atlanta, Georgia, and Vietnamese in Houston, Texas.

  • In 2004, Asian Pacific Islanders’ home ownership increased significantly to 60 percent, but still lagged behind the home-ownership rates of the national (69 percent) and non-Hispanic White (76 percent) populations.

  • In 2002, home-ownership rates for Asian and Pacific Islander (API) naturalized-citizen householders (70.3 percent) were higher than their native-born API householder counterparts (56.5 percent).

  • In 2002, among the naturalized-citizen householders born in Asia, 81 percent of those who entered in 1974 or earlier were homeowners, compared with 66 percent for those who entered in 1975 or later.

The study also includes findings from a national survey of real estate, housing and mortgage industry professionals, which was conducted to better understand the Asian American housing market and the perceptions of those serving Asian home buyers in the real estate and mortgage industries.

Survey topics focused on:

  • Identifying which sectors of the Asian American community struggle the most with home ownership;

  • Factors that keep Asian Americans from realizing their home-ownership goals;

  • Roles that real estate professionals play in providing home-ownership opportunities;

  • Whether Asian Americans were adequately served by existing private and government home-ownership assistance programs.

The survey also found that:

  • 65 percent of respondents claimed it was “very important” to offer culturally sensitive loan programs to immigrant and low-income potential borrowers.

  • 57 percent of participants felt they were “not familiar” with cultural or language-based government-sponsored or non-profit home-ownership programs.

  • 50 percent of respondents reported that they think lenders do “not often” incorporate home-buying counseling as standard in their mortgage products.

The study was sponsored by Freddie Mac, National Association of Realtors and Bank of America.

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Send tips or a Letter to the Editor to jessica@inman.com or call (510) 658-9252, ext. 133.

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