Latinos leading the way in new home ownership nationally and in central North Carolina

Data shows the hot housing market across much of the United States is being driven in part by a rise in first-time Latino buyers.

Statistics also point to Latinos as a powerful force in the first-time homebuyer market right here in the heart of Carolina.

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A recent report by the Urban Institute estimates that in the next 20 years, a whopping 70% of all new homeowners in the U.S. will be Latino.

"It's the American dream to have your own house, to build your own family," Cary resident Andres Castro said.

Castro and his wife, Lorena, came to the Triangle from Venezuela three years ago and have been paying rent ever since.

They each now work for Amazon and recently decided to buy a home here.

"Back in Venezuela, I mean it's not possible right now to buy a house or even to buy a car," Castro said. "So it's more like a dream for us being here and being able to find a house."

On Tuesday, the couple went with Cary real estate agent Yvette Norona to see a home in Clayton.

Norona is of Cuban heritage and bilingual, which is helpful since Lorena is still learning English.

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While Latino homebuying is strong all across the Triangle, a report by the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals cites US Census data showing the Durham-Chapel Hill market at No. 1 in the country for the "fastest growth rate of Hispanic homeowners."

Fayetteville came in at No. 4.

"I have a lot of Latin clients right now that I'm currently working with. So the rise in that aspect, didn't surprise me but to the extent that is supposed to grow in the next 20 years was pretty surprising," Norona said.

At a recent closing the first time buyers, another couple from South America, became emotional, according to Norona.

"When it comes to helping people in that situation and getting them into their home, and seeing that sense of pride at that at the closing table, it's very rewarding for someone like me," she said.
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