Foreign-born residents will have a “significant impact” on the housing market according to “Housing in America: Immigrants and Housing Demand,” released by the Urban Land Institute’s Terwilliger Center for Housing. The report also notes that if the current levels aren’t sustained, the industry could suffer.
“Immigrants have helped stabilize and strengthen the housing market throughout the recovery,” says Stockton Williams, executive director of the Terwilliger Center. “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.”
Immigrants in general have strong aspirations for single-family homeownership. They’re also increasingly targeting the suburbs in search of greater employment opportunities and lower-cost housing, the study notes.
“If recent shifts in immigration flows continue, an increase in higher-income immigrants—including rising numbers from China and India—could accelerate the demand for homeownership among the foreign-born population,” according to the report. “Without sustained immigration, the housing market could weaken and in many markets the impact could be dramatic.”