A real estate trade group serving Asian-American realtors and homeowners announced Tuesday a two-year partnership with Radian Guaranty Inc., a Philadelphia-based private mortgage insurance firm, with the goal of expanding lending options for Asian-American buyers. Although Asian-American mortgage-holders are already faring significantly better than other racial minorities in the U.S., the Asian Real Estate Association of America will work with Radian to help more of them make better mortgage decisions in a strengthening housing market.
“Access to innovative financing solutions is critical in today’s mortgage environment,” Carmen Chong, chairman of the 14,000-member AREAA, said in a statement. “In order to better serve the Asian-American community more effectively, we need to educate real estate professionals about various mortgage options as well as continue to develop relevant mortgage products.”
The partnership could include include "culturally relevant lending products" (a concept to be spelled out later) that enable Asian-Americans to purchase homes more quickly with down payments of less than the standard 20 percent, a Radian specialty. “Through our partnership, we are looking at ways to provide information to Asian homebuyers about taking advantage of the full range of mortgage options and not delaying homeownership in today’s strong housing market,” said Brien McMahon, Radian’s chief franchise officer.
Asians have fared best in the housing market among U.S. racial minorities, according to a May 2015 study of loan information that banks submit to the federal government. Whites and Asians had better access to lower-cost mortgages than African-Americans and Hispanics before the U.S. housing bubble burst in 2008, according to the study by Virginia-based lending consultant ComplianceTech.
Together, blacks and Latinos were able to borrow 62 percent less to purchase or refinance homes in 2009 than in 2004, the analysis found. Even with tighter credit standards for all borrowers, mortgage dollars going white and Asian borrowers declined only by 17 percent.
Asian-Americans, whose population was an estimated 18.9 million in 2012, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, are the fastest-growing racial group in the country and have the highest average household income, surpassing whites. Within the next two years, Asian-American purchasing power will top $1 trillion, according to AREAA.