Hispanics, already a prominent force in the U.S. housing market, are about to take over as the nation’s dominant group of homebuyers. A study by the Urban Institute forecasts that Latinos will become a major demographic force in the coming years.

The nonprofit’s recent report predicts that by 2040, fully 70 percent of new U.S. homeowners will be Hispanic.

“Those are some staggering numbers,” says Sara Rodriguez, president of the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals and head of a Virginia title company.

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That figure has grabbed the attention of lenders and real estate brokers. The coming surge of Latino homebuyers dominated conversations during this month’s conference of the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals.

“It’s an imperative that we get focused on the Hispanic community,” Mark O’Donovan, chief executive of home lending at Chase,…

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