The longer they stay, the more likely immigrants to America are to enjoy homeownership – long considered a benchmark of the American dream. In fact, immigrants who’ve been in the U.S. for at least a generation are more likely to own homes than native-born Americans.
According to the Council of Residential Specialists foreign-born ownership demand also accounted for the majority of all growth in homeownership in the so-called gateway states of California and New York.
A new report from the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) finds that immigrants accounted for the majority of growth in homeownership in New York and California from 2000-2010. Its Institute for Housing America reports 82.2 percent of those who bought homes in California were immigrants and 65.1 percent in New York. And immigrants in Illinois, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Ohio and Michigan also bought the majority of homes sold.
“Growth in housing demand in recent decades has been more stable among foreign-born than native-born households,” says Dowell Myers of the Population Dynamics Research Group at the University of Southern California.
“This is because increases in native-born demand have been subject to large swings in the size of cohorts reaching ages 25 to 34, the most common age of entry to the housing market. In contrast, inflows of new immigrants have not varied widely in recent decades, and in addition the strong upward mobility of prior immigrants, has led to continued increases in aggregate demand for home ownership.” Dowell Myers added.
Here’s the breakdown. Just over half our foreign-born residents – 52 percent – owned their homes in 2011. Look only at immigrants who’ve remained for several years and taken U.S. citizenship, though, and the homeownership rate climbs to 66 percent – the same as for native-born Americans. Immigrant households where there owner came to the U.S. before 1980 had a homeownership rate of 75 percent, beating the natives.
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