From the FT:
Home ownership in the US fell to a 17-year low of 65.3 per cent in the third quarter of last year, but among immigrant households – accounting for existing families and new arrivals – it has steadily increased. Typically purchased after renting for a few years, for many upwardly mobile immigrants owning a home is a symbol of economic success.
Although they represent close to 13 per cent of the US population, immigrants accounted for nearly 36 per cent of growth in home ownership between 2000 and 2010, according to a report by the Research Institute for Housing America and the Mortgage Bankers Association. While this has been driven mainly by the Hispanic community, other minority populations have also boosted gains.
The number of homeowning immigrant households is projected to rise by 2.8m in the decade ending 2020, compared with a 2.4m gain in the previous 10 years. They will account for more than 50 per cent of the rise in homebuying in six gateway states, such as California and New York, the report adds.
Economists have long said immigrants provide an important and growing source of new housing demand that could bolster the US economy, which has fuelled campaigns for legislative reform.
New immigration laws being debated in Washington could potentially increase the number of homeowners in the US by 3m over the next few years. Economists say new legal status for current non-citizens could result in a potential $100bn in new mortgage loans.