MReport July 2017

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30 | TH E M R EP O RT FEATURE T he American Dream. For more than 240 years, men and women have traversed seas in pursuit of it, seeking opportu- nity, wealth, a brighter future for their children, and a place to call their own. The idea of the American Dream has existed since our nation's origin, but the term became popular- ized after James Truslow Adams wrote about it in his 1931 novel, Epic of America: "The American Dream, that has lured tens of millions of all nations to our shores in the past century has not been a dream of merely material plenty, though that has doubtlessly counted heavily. It has been much more than that. It has been a dream of being able to grow to fullest de - velopments as man and woman, unhampered by the barriers which had slowly been erected in the older civilizations, unrepressed by social orders which had de - veloped for the benefit of classes rather than for the simple human being of any and every class." The "American Dream" is a dream for many, regardless of birthplace, upbringing, or class. Close to the heart of the "American Dream" is the idea of homeownership—owning a physi - cal piece of America, a private domain to call one's own, a place for one's children to grow. Beyond the romantic concept of owning part of that American Dream is the practical benefit of building wealth through one's home. In recent years, the national home - ownership rate has slipped, but surveys continue to reveal that the desire for homeownership is as alive as it was when men and women packed their belongings into covered wagons and em - barked on a treacherous journey west for a piece of land to call their own. Despite a strong desire, some are encountering obstacles that are preventing them from pursuing homeownership today. While some barriers to homeownership are universal, others discriminate, impacting certain populations of residents more so than others. This trend is particularly significant as America's population is in flux, with many minority groups expe- riencing substantial growth. Those who have taken up the calling of preserving and perpetu- ating the American Dream—real estate agents, mortgage, and lend- ing professionals—must be aware of the changing demographic landscape of our nation in order to serve the next generation of homeowners. A Changing Demographic Landscape O ur nation continues to be characterized by diverse and shifting demographics. Accord- ing to the PEW Research Center 2015 report, "Modern Immigration Wave Brings 59 Million to U.S., Driving Population Growth and Change Through 2065," Ameri- cans are more racially and ethni- cally diverse than ever before. In fact, the research projects that by 2055, no single racial or ethnic group will be the majority in the United States. Many minority groups are growing exponentially through - out the country. For example, an estimated 57 million Hispanics live in the United States today, according to the 2016 State of Hispanic Homeownership Report by the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals (NAHREP) and the Hispanic Wealth Project. The U.S. Hispanic population is expected to reach 119 million by 2060. Another group on the rise is Asian-American and Pacific Islanders (AAPI), a group which accounts for 21 million U.S. residents and is expected to more than double by 2050. The AAPI population, which consists of more than 50 ethnicities, includ - ing Chinese, Indian, Filipino, Vietnamese, and Korean, has been the fastest-growing minority group since 2000. In 2016, 27 states had an AAPI population of more than 100,000. California, New York, and Texas had more than 1 million AAPI residents each. Until 2016, the U.S. Census Bureau grouped AAPI into an "Other" category, resulting in data that failed to accurately reflect the attributes of this dynamic market. In the years leading to 2016, the Asian Real Estate Association of America (AREAA) collaborated with business partners and com - munity leaders to advocate for a shift away from "Other" on a national level. The U.S. Census Department made the change to include the AAPI popula - tion as a new category in its July 2016 Quarterly Homeownership Report. The distinction enables real estate firms, the financial services industry, and home builders to understand the unique challenges and enormous op - portunities that exist within this population. Demand Is Still Flourishing W hile the face of America continues to change and diversify, the dream of homeown- ership remains constant. Although the homeownership rate has fallen since the housing crisis of a decade ago, it still stands above 63 percent, illustrating the propen - sity for most people to choose buying over renting. Inventory and affordability are the primary drags on the homeownership rate; demand is still there, especially within the minority popula - tions. It's projected that by 2024, there will be 33 percent more new minority homebuyers than non-Hispanic whites, according to AREAA's State of Asia America Report. NAHREP projects His - panics will account for 52 percent of new homeowners between 2010 and 2030. This presents tremen- dous opportunity for real estate and mortgage professionals who take the time to learn more about these communities in order to provide them better service and more value. Locating the Barriers I n response to these rap- idly changing demographics, of AAPI are homeowners, well below the national average for non-Hispanic whites at 72 percent.

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