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Asian American and Pacific Islanders in the Mortgage Market

This research brief examines how the characteristics of mortgages, borrowers, and lenders vary across Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) subgroups using disaggregated race and ethnicity information in the 2020 Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) data. Existing studies often portray AAPI borrowers as similar in characteristics to non-Hispanic White borrowers and thus imply that the group fares well. However, such characterization disregards some AAPI subgroups whose characteristics may be similar to Black or Hispanic White borrowers and therefore may find difficulty in accessing lower-priced credit. Furthermore, the belief that AAPIs generally fare well in the mortgage market overlooks the existing evidence on a differential treatment of AAPIs relative to non-Hispanic Whites, in both the rental and sales markets. The information contained in this article is not intended to be an in-depth and comprehensive analysis, but offers an initial look at heterogeneity in mortgage characteristics that exists within the AAPI community.

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