The research arm of a university established last year by the National Association of Realtors has partnered with a trade group focused on boosting Asian-American homeownership to study how real estate impacts Asian immigrants.

As part of an agreement, the Chicago-based Realtor University Center for Real Estate Studies and the 13,000-member Asian Real Estate Association of America (AREAA) will explore how Asian immigrants use their homes and businesses to leverage and grow wealth and develop a greater understanding of housing market preferences among Asian immigrant groups, according to an announcement today.

There are nearly 19 million Asian-Americans nationwide and they are the fastest growing racial or ethnic group in the U.S. Asian-Americans will be a “large source of future housing demand” though their current homeownership rate (55 percent) lags behind that of the total population (65 percent), Realtor University and AREAA said.

The two nonprofits expect the research project to last between nine and 12 months, with results released in 2014.

“Realtor University’s mission is to help bring value to homebuyers, sellers and real estate professionals, and so we are pleased to be partnering with AREAA to undertake this new research to advance Asian-American homeownership and real estate investment,” said Chairman of the University Board of Regents Richard Rosenthal in a statement.

AREAA has 31 chapters across North America representing real estate, mortgage and housing-related professionals serving the Asian-American market.

“We’re excited about the business opportunities and specialized knowledge that this partnership will bring to our members while also helping to address and improve real issues affecting Asian-American homeownership,” said Hope Atuel, executive director of AREAA, in a statement.

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