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The number of Hispanic homebuyers in Monterey County continues to rise

Telemundo23 / Sandra Iveth Santos

MONTEREY COUNTY, Calif. (KION-TV)- In recent years, the number of Hispanics purchasing a home in Monterey County keeps rising. Residents in the area say that when they can't find an affordable place to rent, they opt to buy a home, but the process has been difficult.

It took Alfonso Hernandez and his family six months to apply for a mortgage loan, but at the beginning of 2024, the Hispanic family was finally able to open the doors to their new home.

"For us as Hispanics, which is with ITIN, it is a little more complicated, but if you focus on the goal you can do it," said Hernandez.

Some Hispanics, like Alfonso, are relieved to pay for their home instead of renting, because they say that rental rates are very high in Monterey County. 

"Well we pay rent, and you analyze it, and it's better to pay for your house instead of renting, and it feels good because you don't see it as a waste of money, but as an investment," said Hernandez. 

The average house payment in Monterey County can cost more than $4,000,000 dollars a month, according to real estate platforms.

Sara Pantoja, a real estate agent in Monterey County, says that more than 90% of her clients are Hispanic. 

According to the U.S. Urban Institute, during the pandemic, the number of Hispanic homeowners rose to 8.2% higher than the Anglo community. 

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development claims that the rate of first-time homebuyers under the Biden-Harris administration is the highest since at least 2000, and that the federal housing authority has helped 1.5 million first-time homebuyers with purchase mortgages.

But even as the number of Hispanic homebuyers increases, the population faces a new challenge, as a family's salary is not enough to qualify for a loan. It often takes the salaries of four people to qualify. And as more families join together to buy a home, 33% of new Hispanic homeowners are younger, according to the 2022 Hispanic Homeownership Report.  

"48% of Latinos who are buying are in their 30s, that's younger than normal, and we're looking at more income, a larger percentage of Latinos buying homes and younger," said Jorge Edeza, former president of the Monterey County Association of Realtors.  

The latest report from the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals reveals that this group is more prepared than ever to obtain a mortgage. The urban institute predicts that in the next 20 years, 70% of the nation's population will be homeowners, and the majority will be Hispanic.

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Sandra Iveth Santos

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Periodista Multimèdia Bilingüe en Telemundo 23 Costa Central


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