Immigration reform worth $500B to housing economy

SAN DIEGO – May 22, 2013 – If current immigration legislation in the U.S. Congress passes – bills that would create a path to legalization for 11 million undocumented immigrants – it would pump more than $500 billion into the U.S. economy over five years, according to a study released by the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals (NAHREP).

NAHREP estimates that immigration reform, as proposed, would create a new pool of 3 million homeowners and add more than $500 billion in sales, income and spending into the U.S. housing economy.

Based on previous estimates, NAHREP officials calculate that up to 6 million undocumented immigrants would likely pursue legalization and possibly citizenship under the bill, and up to 3 million would pursue homeownership based on the patterns of naturalized Latinos.

“Foreign-born householders have a high value and strong desire for homeownership,” says Juan Martinez, NAHREP president.

NAHREP based its projections on updated data and the approach it used for its 2004 study “The Potential for Homeownership Among Undocumented Workers,” to estimate the economic impact on the current housing economy.

• Assuming past purchase trends among foreign-born householders remain consistent, half expected to pursue legalization – up to 3 million of 6 million undocumented immigrants – would also buy a home once they have legal status.

• Many of undocumented foreign-born householders have age and income characteristics associated with potential homeownership, with household incomes of about $40,000.

• Up to 3 million undocumented foreign-born householders could potentially afford a home worth $173,600, the national median sales price. This would generate more than $500 billion in new mortgages, and about $25 billion in mortgage origination and refinance income.

• The purchases would create $28 billion in income within the real estate community.

• Home purchases by 3 million legitimized immigrants would create $180 billion in additional consumer spending within local communities based on the average $60,000 in associated purchases estimated by the National Association of Realtors in 2012.

“With the possibility of a legitimate path to residency and citizenship, we expect this group to be eager to buy homes,” says Gary Acosta, NAHREP co-founder.

© 2013 Florida Realtors®

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