Mortgage Bankers Association Report: Foreign Interest in US Real Estate Growing - News Release of the Week

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As discussion continues this week on the potential impact of Hugo Chavez's demise on the exodus of Venezuelans to South Florida, the Mortgage Bankers Association has just released a report on housing demand of foreign nationals here in the United States, our news release of the week:


New Report Shows Housing Demand Among Immigrants to Grow Nationwide

WASHINGTON, DC (March 6, 2013) – Homeownership and rental demand of foreign-born households will continue to increase as growing numbers of immigrants settle longer in the United States, according to a new report sponsored by the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Research Institute for Housing America (RIHA).

The report entitled 'Immigrant Contributions to Housing Demand in the United States: A Comparison of Recent Decades and Projections to 2020 for the States and Nation,' constructs a demographic-based projection through 2020 of the growth in homeowner and renter households headed by immigrants in the states and regions of the nation. The report was prepared by Professor Dowell Myers and Senior Research Associate John Pitkin of the Population Dynamics Research Group at the University of Southern California School of Policy, Planning, and Development and sponsored by RIHA, MBA’s independent research foundation.

Key findings from the study include:

• The volume of growth in foreign-born homeowners has increased each decade, rising from 0.8 million added immigrant homeowners in the United States during 1980¬-1990, to 2.1 million added in 1990–2000, to 2.4 million added in 2000–2010, and is projected to rise further to 2.8 million in growth in the current decade (2010–2020).

• Foreign-born ownership demand comprised the majority of all growth in homeownership in the established gateway states of California and New York. From 2000–2010 immigrants accounted for 82.2 percent and 65.1 percent, respectively, of the growth in homeowners in those states. In that decade immigrants also accounted for the major share of net growth in owner households in Illinois, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Ohio and Michigan.

• Aggregate increases in foreign-born renter households peaked in the 1990–2000 decade at 2.3 million, slowed to a net of 1.6 million in 2000–2010, and are projected to be 1.3 million in the current decade.

• Between 2010–2020, immigrants nationwide are projected to account for 32.2 percent of the growth in all households, including 35.7 percent growth in homeowners and 26.4 percent growth in renter households.

• Between 2010–2020,foreign-born ownership demand is projected to remain a majority of the growth in six states: California, New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Michigan.

• Foreign-born homeownership demand rose most dramatically in the newer destination states. For example, in Georgia and North Carolina, immigrants accounted for 34.1 percent and 24.8 percent respectively, from 2000–2010, nearly triple immigrants’ shares of homeowner growth of the 1990s in those states.

• Despite the projected rise in immigrant housing demand, the immigrant share of all demand growth is somewhat reduced in the current decade as compared to the last, because a larger increase is projected among native-born homebuyers. The combined projected growth of nearly 8 million added homeowners is much greater than the 5.1 million growth of the last decade.

• In the current decade, foreign-born renters comprise over one third of projected total growth in seven states: California, Washington, D.C. metro area, New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Illinois.

“Immigrants are an important and growing source of demand that has bolstered housing markets in recent decades,” said Professor Dowell Myers of the Population Dynamics Research Group at the University of Southern California. “Growth in housing demand in recent decades has been more stable among foreign-born than native-born households. 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.”

“Rising numbers of foreign-born households are driven by the continued increases in homeownership rates achieved as immigrants settle longer in the United States. For example, among the cohort of Hispanics who arrived in the United States during the 1980s, homeownership rose from just above 15 percent in 1990 to nearly 53 percent in 2010 and is projected to rise to above 61 percent in 2020 when the cohort will have resided more than 30 years in the United States,” said John Pitkin Senior Research Associate of the Population Dynamics Research Group at the University of Southern California.

“As the housing market continues its recovery, it is important to understand the demographic trends which are likely to impact housing demand in the years ahead,” said Michael Fratantoni, RIHA’s Executive Director. “This study provides information for lenders, builders, and policymakers regarding the future shape of housing demand, which the authors clearly show will be substantially impacted by the housing choices of foreign-born households, whether they are renters or homeowners.”

To read the report, click on the italicized title, above; the Executive Summary can be read here.