The homeownership gap between immigrants and the native-born is closing as more foreign-born U.S. residents move towards buying homes, according to a new report from Trulia.

Trulia used the U.S. Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey and American Community Survey data for this study. For calculations involving the American Community Survey data, the company used five-year 2014 data.

Not only are immigrants closing the gap, but states where immigrants resided in the U.S. for longer periods of time also have higher rates of immigrant homeownership, according to the report.

While those born outside the U.S. still lag behind those born in the U.S., the homeownership gap has been shrinking since 2000. The gap now rests at 15.4 percentage points, down from 20.7 percentage points in 2001.

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(Source: Trulia)

The homeownership rate for those born in the U.S. remained roughly unchanged from 1994 to 2015, however the rate for immigrants increased 2.3 percentage points.

Americans are increasingly divided on the subject of immigration, but immigrants play a critical role in driving our housing economy, and, by extension, our long-term economic prosperity. This article explains why immigrants are crucial to economic growth.

While New York and California both hold the largest immigrant population, they differ drastically when it comes to the homeownership gap. In New York, immigrants lag behind by 20.1 percentage points, however in California, the gap is only 9.7 percentage points.

While the homeownership gap in California is decreasing, San Francisco’s competitive employment market is causing many construction companies to lose workers and driving a trend towards more expensive housing.

There’s one less-noticed factor that is impacting the current shortage of cheap service labor and shortage of affordable housing: the education level of immigrants has been rising. In fact, this study shows that new American immigrants are more likely to be buying suburban houses than building them.

This could be explained by the sudden shift in type of immigrants coming to the U.S. As it turns out, since 2008, the flow of undocumented immigrants into the country slowed dramatically, and at times even reversed as more were going back than coming in, data from Goldman Sachs shows.