Want more business? Try learning Spanish.

Hispanics accounted for three-quarters of net growth in homeownership in 2016, and about half of first-time homebuyers belong to this group, according to an annual report released by the Hispanic Wealth Project.

The number of Hispanic homeowner households swelled to 7.3 million in 2016 from 4.2 million in 2000, rising by 209,000 last year alone.

And while the homeownership rate dipped to a 51-year low of 63.4 percent in 2016, Hispanics defied the trend for the second straight year. They posted a homeownership rate of 46 percent in 2016, up from 45.6 percent the previous year but still down from a peak of 49.7 percent in 2007.

Yet Hispanics are apparently underserved by real estate agents.

This all presents a clear opportunity for real estate professionals, according to the report, which was produced in collaboration with the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals.

“[R]eal estate and mortgage professionals who speak Spanish and understand the cultural nuances of Hispanic consumers are invaluable resources to many buyers,” the report said.

The report added that there is a “critical shortage” of real estate and mortgage professionals who speak Spanish and can guide them to solutions that meet their needs, and that access to such professionals for Hispanics “creates a level playing field for prospective Hispanic homeowners.”

Source: Hispanic Wealth Project

“A shortage of culturally competent real estate and mortgage professionals in several markets, especially in the South and other non-traditional markets, make the process more challenging for potential buyers who are Hispanic and entering the market for the first time,” the report noted.

Source: Hispanic Wealth Project

The report is packed with more information on how Hispanics are impacting U.S. homeownership and business. It’s available for download here.

Email Teke Wiggin.

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