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Report: Housing Market to See Growing Demand from Immigrants

Immigrants have been and will continue to play a large role in the housing market, according to a new report from the ""Research Institute for Housing America (RIHA),"":http://www.housingamerica.org/default.htm sponsored by the ""Mortgage Bankers Association."":http://www.mbaa.org/default.htm RIHA is the association's independent research foundation.

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The number of new foreign-born homeowners has risen steadily throughout the nation over the past three decades and is expected to continue with some areas of the country owing most of their homeownership growth to the demographic, according to the report.

""Immigrants are an important and growing source of demand that has bolstered housing markets in recent decades,"" said researcher Dowell Myers, a member of the Population Dynamics Research Group at the University of South Carolina.

In fact, Myers points out ""[g]rowth in housing demand in recent decades has been more stable among foreign-born than native-born households.""

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From 1980 through 1990, 0.8 million new homeowners in the country were immigrants. From 1990 to 2000, this number increased to 2.1 million, and over the following decade the number reached 2.4 million.

RIHA anticipates new immigrant homeowners will contribute to homeowner growth in the amount of 2.8 million in the current decade ending in 2020.

Georgia and North Carolina experienced significant increases in immigrant demand from 2000 to 2010. The states posted 34.1 percent and 24.8 percent increases, respectively.

Immigrants were responsible for the majority of homeowner growth in California--82.2 percent--in the decade ending in 2010. The demographic was also responsible for 65.1 percent of homeowner growth in New York over the same decade.

Other states where immigrants contributed greatly to net growth in homeowner volume include Illinois, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Ohio, and Michigan.

Several of these states--California, New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, and Michigan--are expected to continue to experience a market in which immigrants make up a majority of homeowner growth in the decade ending in 2020.

Researchers expect Connecticut to join this list for the current decade ending in 2020.
While researchers expect immigrant demand to remain strong, they anticipate the group will claim a smaller share of demand growth in the current decade because they expect native-born demand to rise.

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