Immigrants close gap with US-born for home ownership

Immigrants are catching up to residents born in the US with home ownership, according to a new study from Trulia. This is a positive move and is likely to increase the contribution that immigrants make to the US economy.

In 2015, half the number of immigrants in the US owned homes, compared to 66 percent of residents who were born in the country. This gap is the smallest seen between the two groups in the last two decades, according to the study. The disparity between the groups peaked 15 years ago, when just 49.6 percent of immigrants owned their homes, compared to 70.3 percent of US-born residents.

Immigrant homeowners are more likely to amass wealth and home equity, and to spend more than renters, adding to the growth of the US economy. They also have a greater likelihood of being involved in civic affairs and communities. The primary reason that immigrants are starting to catch up to US-born residents with regard to home ownership is the average length of time they have spent in the country has now increased. This gives them a greater opportunity to burnish credit scores, save enough for a down payment, and build up their work history.

Data from Trulia and Census Bureau indicates that, as of 2014, 75 percent of immigrants had been living in the US for almost a decade, which is a rise of ten percent from 2005.