The United States is often referred to as a “melting pot” of languages, cultures and ethnicities. The housing market in the U.S. reflects this description, and Hispanic homeownership is on the rise. This is due to many factors, including the rise in Hispanic household wealth, increasing population growth and continued confidence in the housing market.
For mortgage lenders seeking to serve borrowers who may not speak or read English as a first language, being able to provide as many documents as possible in Spanish can make the difference between a successful experience and a frustrated borrower abandoning an application.
Hispanics make up one of the fastest growing demographics for homeownership. According to the Hispanic Wealth Project, Hispanic households have increased by 6.7 million since 2000, representing 42.5 percent of the nation’s overall household growth. And that rate is only increasing. According to a newly published report by the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals, Hispanic homeownership rate increased from 45.6 percent in 2015 to 46.2 percent in 2017, making Hispanics the only demographic to have increased their homeownership rate for the last three consecutive years. This rising rate shows that 46.2 percent of Hispanics will also be looking for lenders and will be signing multiple documents, reading the fine print and eventually closing on their homes in the coming years.
But despite the growing financial strength of the Hispanic population, challenges remain when it comes to homeownership, particularly historically low savings rates and an uncertain political climate, according to a recent report from the Hispanic Wealth Project. Hispanic population concentration, natural disasters in those concentrated areas and affordability are large factors in slowing the growth of Hispanic homeownership.
The language barrier is another major obstacle in the rise of Hispanic homeownership. Lenders have a unique opportunity to aide this growth. It is important that lenders choose a document generation engine that can provide documents in Spanish. The ability to provide documents in Spanish gives lenders a wider potential customer base and a more inclusive identity. While not every state, investor and regulator has provided approved documents in alternate languages, Docutech provides Spanish document capabilities to help lenders better serve their communities.
Providing loan documents in Spanish can also be critical to meeting compliance requirements. Due to the fact that millions of US citizens and residents speak Spanish as their primary language, some states have enacted laws requiring the translation of certain loan documents into the language of the borrower so they can fully understand the terms of the agreements they are entering into. At this time, Arizona, California, the District of Columbia, Oregon, and Texas have various requirements requiring at least some loan documents to be provided in Spanish.
The Hispanic Wealth Project aims to triple Hispanic household wealth in 10 years. Offering bilingual loan documents is just one simple way lenders can contribute to Hispanic homeownership growth. When choosing a partner for loan documentation, be sure to ask if they have Spanish capabilities.