Asian Americans to lead future homeownership growthMortgagePress.comAsian American homebuyers The Asian Real Estate Association of America (AREAA) and the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) Asian American Studies Center have released an in-depth study titled "A New Path to Homeownership for Asian American Home Buyers," which provides a comprehensive, up-to-date analysis of demographic trends within the Asian American consumer housing market. "AREAA is pleased to commission this historic study regarding the homeownership patterns of the Asian American community," said Allen M. Okamoto, AREAA chairman. "The findings from this study shed new light on this dynamic segment of the housing market and provide a challenge to the entire housing industry to work creatively to solve the unique homeownership challenges facing Asian American consumers." Brian Montgomery, Federal Housing Administration commissioner and assistant secretary for housing, stated, "I commend AREAA for sponsoring this historic study regarding the unique home-buying challenges facing Asian Americans in this country. For FHA, this study highlights the need for additional product flexibility, such as that proposed in the Expanding [American] Homeownership Act of 2006, to reach all segments of the Asian American home-buying market. We plan to work closely with AAREA to design and offer innovative and suitable insurance products to increase homeownership opportunities for Asian American families." "Studies like this one help the industry and the public gain a better understanding of the homeownership process in the Asian American community," said Dwight Robinson, senior vice president of Freddie Mac. "The knowledge gained from this study is a step toward helping the financial services industry learn how to better serve this important, growing market." The AREAA/UCLA study, sponsored by Freddie Mac, the National Association of Realtors and Bank of America, looked at key demographic trends, such as population, homeownership and housing, income, language and immigration, to gain a better understanding of the socioeconomic status of Asian Americans across the nation. Asian Americans have seen the fastest growth in homeownership attainment since 2000 (from 52 percent to nearly 60 percent) of any population, and their income and credit profile suggests that this growth will continue into the future. The report examined disaggregated census data on Asian Americans at the national, state and regional levels, focusing on the top 25 metropolitan areas with the largest Asian American populations. These areas included Atlanta; Boston; Chicago; Dallas; Denver; Detroit; Fresno, Calif.; Honolulu; Houston; Las Vegas; Los Angeles; Miami; Minneapolis; New York; Norfolk, Va.; Philadelphia; Phoenix; Portland, Ore.; Sacramento, Calif.; San Diego; San Francisco; Seattle; Stockton, Calif.; Tampa and Washington, D.C. Some of the findings were as follows: - In 2004, more than half of the Asian American population lived in just three states: California (34 percent), New York (15 percent) and Hawaii (five percent). - Settlement patterns at the regional level showed a greater number of Asian Americans moving to southern metropolitan areas, such as Asian Indians and Vietnamese to Dallas, Koreans and Vietnamese to Atlanta and Vietnamese to Houston. - In 2004, Asian Pacific Islanders' homeownership increased significantly to 60 percent but still lagged behind the homeownership rates of the national (69 percent) and non-Hispanic white (76 percent) populations. - In 2002, homeownership rates for Asian and Pacific Islander naturalized-citizen householders (70.3 percent) were higher than their native-born counterparts (56.5 percent). - In 2002, among the naturalized-citizen householders born in Asia, 81 percent of those who entered the United States in 1974 or earlier were homeowners, compared with 66 percent for those who entered in 1975 or later. The study also included 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 American homebuyers in the real estate and mortgage industries. Survey topics focused on: - Identifying which sectors of the Asian American community struggle the most with homeownership; - Factors that keep Asian Americans from realizing their homeownership goals; - Roles that real estate professionals play in providing homeownership opportunities; and - Whether Asian Americans were adequately served by existing private and government homeownership assistance programs. The survey also found that: - Sixty-five percent of respondents claimed that it was very important to offer culturally sensitive loan programs to immigrant and low-income potential borrowers; - Fifty-seven percent of participants felt that they were unfamiliar with cultural or language-based government-sponsored or non-profit homeownership programs; and - Fifty percent of respondents reported that they think lenders do not often incorporate home-buying counseling as standard in their mortgage products. For more information, visit www.areaa.org.