One of the hottest debates coming out of Washington D.C. right now is immigration. But one thing that’s not debatable is the contribution of new immigrants to the housing recovery. 

In fact, new legal status for current non-citizens could result in a potential $100 billion in new mortgage loans, the Financial Times reported in Wednesday’s paper.

As homeownership plummeted to a 17-year low of 65.3% in the third quarter of 2012, immigrant homeownership rates have continued increasing, the paper writes. 

For many of these foreign settlers who have come to the U.S., homeownership is the American dream for which they’ll work years to obtain. And while they only make up 13% of the country’s population, immigrants totaled nearly 36% of homeownership growth between 2000 and 2010, Financial Times reported. 

It is anticipated that in six gateway states, including California and New York, immigrants will account for more than 50% of the rise in home buying by 2020, according to a report by the Research Institute for Housing America and the Mortgage Bankers Association.

We’ve all heard of the uber wealthy foreign investors reviving the California market. However, it’s not just the glitzy markets that are seeing an effect. Due to their affordability and quick commute to work, neighborhoods that would otherwise be rundown and vacant are flourishing thanks to immigrant interest. 

So it’s important to remember what these foreign settlers are doing to our housing recovery. To many Americans, homeownership is just another predicted step in life. However, for many of these immigrants, it is a life goal worked many years to achieve.

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