Immigrant populations and the U.S. real estate market go hand-in-hand according to the Urban Land Institute Report titled “Home in America: Immigrant Housing Demand.” ULI research shows that immigrants helped the housing market bounce back from the recession and will likely help drive future home ownership. Cities such as San Francisco, Buffalo, Houston, Miami and Charlotte can credit immigrants with increasing demand, valuation and sales prices in their respective housing markets.
The Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies estimates that approximately 12.5M households will be added in this country between now and 2025. Specifically, the HJCHS estimates that 3.5 new immigrant households will be added between now and 2025. Housing markets across the country could substantially weaken without sustained and patterned immigration growth between now and the immediate future. Such a weakening could be dramatic.
A positive outlook concerning the impact of immigrants on housing markets is voiced by the Bipartisan Policy Commission, a Washington D.C. based think tank. “If current birth rate trends continue, immigrants and their children will be the source of almost all U.S. population growth and, by extension, the primary driver for all new residential construction.”
Currently, 61% of immigrants nationally are living in some 20 major metro areas. The Urban Land Institute is showing a resurgence in new immigrant arrivals in “gateway cities” such as Seattle, Denver, Baltimore and Minneapolis. How long such new immigrant arrivals will continue is currently up in the air, however. All the while, the number of immigrants living in suburbs has doubled since 2000.
Immigrants continue to actualize their American dreams with home ownership. A little more than half of all immigrants are, in fact, homeowners. This statistic increases by 2.3 % every year. Many financial experts agree that investments in housing, retail, recreational and cultural amenities that target growing immigrant populations show real growth potential. It will be interesting to watch how immigrant growth patterns and public policy decisions that impact immigrants will evolve and therefore, impact the country’s housing markets over the short and long term.