Multicultural Markets

By Jorge Matos

The Hispanic population has been growing at a rate of 11.5% every 5 years in the US and its now about 51 million which is 15% of the overall population. What’s more important is that young Hispanic population that’s entering the workforce and will influence the real estate market because as a general rule Hispanics believe and pursue the dream of owning their own home. It’s a cultural and pride thing.

The National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals predicted that Hispanic first-time homebuyers will make about 40% in 2012 but I believe their numbers to be on the high end. A lot of them are not in the home buying pipeline but could definitely benefit from our counseling on the home-buying process.

Most Hispanics are debt-free or close to due to the fact that some of the countries the come from the financial institution require them to put large amounts of money in order to acquire real estate or the loan guidelines and requirements in order to lend are too strict so in most instances mid class Hispanics decide to just purchase cash if they can afford it.

Home builders and Non-Hispanics real estate professionals who want to take advantage of this growing group need to know that all Hispanics are not created equal. Even though they speak Spanish their culture and traditions might be totally different. Mexicans have different traditions than Colombians, Cubans, Puerto Ricans etc. For example Mariachi might be a suitable music theme for Mexicans but Caribbeans might prefer tropic music instead.

Real estate wise they prefer traditional open space floor plan painted with neutral colors just like their US counterparts. In other words they are happy to adopt US housing traditional homes where their kids can grow and go to school just like any other person. In some cases they look for an In-Law suite since the grandparents will probably live with them instead of going away to an home assisted facility. That’s also a cultural tradition across the Hispanic board.

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