Job losses during the COVID-19 pandemic hit the Asian American community particularly hard. Hate crimes also surged against the community, the fastest-growing population in the U.S.
About 60.6% of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders are homeowners. While that’s a higher percentage than other minority groups, the numbers are lower than the national average of 65.6% in the first quarter of 2021, according to a new report, the 2021 State of Asia America, from the Asian Real Estate Association of America in partnership with RE/MAX and Freddie Mac. For comparison, the white homeownership rate is 73.8%.
“The challenges we face grew substantially throughout the pandemic, including job losses as well as an immense increase in hate crimes and subsequent housing discrimination that are forcing so many to stay in their current communities rather than move to new and unfamiliar places,” said Amy Kong, AREAA’s president.
Kong also stressed the importance of alternative credit needs “as so many in the AAPI community have been culturally adverse to credit, but have good jobs and savings. We also are working hard on overcoming language barriers, especially when it comes to paperwork involved in real estate transactions.”
The challenges in homeownership are occurring despite Asian Americans tending to have higher incomes than the national average—$93,759, which is 35% higher than the national average, the report notes.
Asian Americans tend to live in some of the priciest areas in the U.S. and thus tend to spend more on real estate when compared to national averages. The median home value for Asian Americans was $472,500, compared with the national median home list price of $380,000 in May, according to realtor.com® data.
Only five real estate markets with large Asian American and Pacific Islander populations saw homeownership rates that are higher than the national average: Riverside, Calif. (about 71% of the Asian American population were homeowners); Washington, D.C. (69%); Miami (69%); Houston (69%); and Atlanta (67%).
The report notes the South is becoming increasingly popular among the Asian American population. Georgia led the nation with a 66.9% homeownership rate for the community, the report notes.