TAKING THE LONG VIEW ON IMMIGRATION
Despite all the media attention focused on Hispanic immigrants, the fastest-growing group of immigrants is actually Asians and, more specifically, Indians. Indians as well as Chinese-Americans are also more likely to own than rent.
Myers said it’s important to keep in mind that “immigrants have delayed impacts three and four decades later,” as their children and grandchildren enter the workforce and begin to rent and buy homes. With Latino immigrants, Myers said it’s generally a three-decade delay from arrival on U.S. soil to home ownership.
According to the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals, as of the year 2000, Hispanics became the largest minority group in the U.S., outpacing African-Americans.
Meanwhile, the 2015 “State of Asia America” report from the Asian Real Estate Association of America indicates the Asian-American and Pacific Islander population in the U.S. grew by 45% between 2000 and 2010, making it the fastest-growing minority group in the country. Seventy-nine percent of the 19.4 million Asian Americans in the U.S. over the age of 18 are foreign born.
As with Latinos, Asian-Americans’ numbers are largest in California, New York and Texas, though populations are quickly expanding in Nevada, Arizona and North Carolina as well. On average, Asian-American households have higher median incomes than their native-born Caucasian counterparts, so they represent a group ripe for home buying, which is why native-born Americans should take notice.
Myers points out that while baby boomers are, for the most part, sitting comfortably in their homes right now with no plans to vacate, that’s going to change in the coming decades. “They are getting older and sitting on $50 million in owner-occupied houses,” he said. “If that demographic wants to cash in on its nest egg, who’s going to buy?”
There simply are not enough native-born Millennials to fill the gaps without considering immigrants and the Millennial children of immigrants.
Even as U.S. policymakers waffle over whether or not to reform immigration laws and how, more progressive governments are recognizing the economic value of keeping borders open and even driving newcomers to certain areas in need of economic development. Canada, for example, is offering incentives to get immigrants to move to the center of the country, namely Manitoba and Saskatchewan.
“Congress needs to wake up and see how immigrants are very hard working and pursuing the American dream and are basic positive assets to our economy and society,” Masnick said.
“Perhaps the simplest way to accelerate the housing recovery would be to increase the number of people who want to buy homes,” the BPC’s Immigration Task Force concluded. “Basic principles of economics hold that, all else being equal, when the demand for a good exceeds supply, production of that good will increase. Immigration can help to provide this additional demand.”