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Hispanic buyers could kick recovery into high gear

Trade group: Government policies favor investors, hold back Latino homeownership

Hispanics accounted for more than half of new owner-occupied households last year and have the purchasing power "to push the U.S. housing recovery into high gear," according to an annual report from the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals (NAHREP) released today. In its 2012 State of Hispanic Homeownership report, the trade group said Hispanics have posted gains in jobs, income, education, and household formation that make them ready to drive demand in the housing market, but that scarce for-sale inventory and policies that favor investor buyers are holding them back. "Despite a difficult economic environment and a tight mortgage market, Latinos are making gains in all the ways that make them ready for homeownership," said Juan Martinez, NAHREP's newly elected president, in a statement. "Their biggest obstacle now coming into the market isn't the credit crunch, it's the lack of available housing to purchase. They will play an increasingl...