Kelly Leighton

Last Updated: April 21, 2017 | View all posts by Kelly Leighton

Immigrants’ homeownership is predicted to have a huge impact on the future housing market.

According to Urban Land Institute’s Terwilliger Center for Housing’s latest report Home in America: Immigrants and Housing Demand, immigrants tend to want to be homeowners, and are driven to purchase. The longer an immigrant stays in the U.S., the more likely it is that they will purchase a home. Despite overall homeownership rates declining over the years, immigrants’ interest has increased. Additionally, immigrants have outpaced general population growth between 2006 and 2014.

Immigrants will bring business to both the new housing market as well as the existing housing market. The report suggests that immigrants will purchase already-existing home from downsizing baby boomers, creating a market in which smaller new homes are needed for the homesellers.

“Immigrants have helped stabilize and strengthen the housing market throughout the recovery,” said Terwilliger Center Executive Director Stockton Williams. “Immigrants’ housing purchasing power and preferences are significant economic assets for metropolitan regions across the country. This suggests the potential for much more growth attributable to foreign-born residents in the years ahead,” he added.

While some immigrants have migrated to major cities, the report specifically analyzes San Francisco, Houston, Buffalo, Minneapolis-St. Paul and Charlotte, each community shaped by its attributes, the findings of the report suggest that the majority of immigrants prefer to live in the suburbs, thanks to employment, cheaper housing and a better quality of life. If they can’t afford to buy at the time, results suggest they will rent in the suburbs until they are ready for homeownership.