In LA’s Latino Neighborhoods, 7% of Homeowners Owe More than Homes Are Worth

LATINO PERSPECTIVE--Zillow which is the leading real estate and rental marketplace dedicated to empowering consumers with data, inspiration and knowledge around the place they call home, and connecting them with the best local professionals who can help has published a report that concludes that minorities in Los Angeles are more likely to have negative equity loans. 

In LA’s predominantly Latino neighborhoods, 7 percent of all homeowners owe more on their mortgages than their homes are worth — that’s compared to 4.3 percent of homeowners in predominantly white neighborhoods and 5.7 percent of all homeowners in L.A., according to the Zillow report. 

“Our previous research has shown that negative equity is more concentrated among less expensive homes, and now we know that it is also more prevalent in minority neighborhoods than in white communities, which are also trailing in the overall housing recovery,” Zillow chief economist Svenja Gudell said in a statement. “These gaps can and will have long-lasting implications for growth and equality.” 

That conclusion is important for Latino residents in Los Angeles. For Latinos one of the most, if not the most important issue facing the city of Los Angeles right now is housing and development. Latinos in particular need to pay close attention to this problem since they can be directly affected by what voters decide in regards to measure “S” and other measures. 

Housing in Los Angeles is increasingly becoming extremely expensive, and things will get worse before they get better. It just doesn’t make sense to live in this city when 50 percent or more of a family’s income goes to pay just for rent. What’s going to happen? Families will have to move out of the city and commute, this will not only increase traffic but the quality of life for all will be affected. This is not the way to grow. 

Our city leaders along with community leaders, developers, residents, and lenders need to work together and be smart about how to grow the city of Los Angeles, just look a the homelessness problem. We still have time to figure things out, let’s do it.

(Fred Mariscal writes Latino Perspective for CityWatch. He came to Los Angeles from Mexico City in 1992 to study at the University of Southern California and has been in LA ever since. He can be reached at