2.8 Million: Number of Foreign Homeowners Expected by 2020

by Peter Thomas Ricci


Foreign-born homeowners are expected to grow in prominence in the coming years and number 2.8 million by 2020.

The number of foreign-born homeowners in the U.S. is expected to rise more than 16 percent and hit 2.8 million by 2020, according to new research sponsored by the Mortgage Bankers Association’s Research Institute for Housing America.

According to the study, entitled “Immigrant Contributions to Housing Demand in the United States: A Comparison of Recent Decades and Projections to 2020 for the States and Nation,” the influence of foreign-born households is expected to grow as immigrants settle for longer periods of time in the U.S.

Foreign-Born Homeowners in the U.S. – Gaining Prominence

Prepared by researchers from the University of Southern California School of Policy, Planning, and Development, the study uncovered quite a few interesting details about foreign-born homeowners in the U.S., including:

  • As previously mentioned, foreign-born homeowners are expected to number 2.8 million by 2020, an increase of 450 percent from 1980, when there were just 0.8 million foreign-born homeowners.
  • Foreign-born rental households are actually expected to decline as foreign-born homeownership rises; foreign-born rentals peaked in the ’90s at 2.3 million, but are expected to decline to 1.3 million in the current decade.
  • Also in the current decade, immigrants are projected to account for more than a third of the growth in all households, including 35.7 percent of homeowners.

See our chart below for more perspective on how foreign-born homeowners have grown in the last 30 years (touch the bars with your cursor to see the specific numbers):

John Pitkin, a senior research associate of the Population Dynamics Research Group at USC, said foreign-born homeowners will only gain in prominence as they settle longer in the U.S.

“Rising numbers of foreign-born households are driven by the continued increases in homeownership rates achieved as immigrants settle longer in the United States,” Pitkin said. “For example, among the cohort of Hispanics who arrived in the United States during the 1980s, homeownership rose from  just above 15 percent in 1990 to  nearly 53 percent in 2010 and is projected to rise to above 61 percent in 2020 when the cohort will have resided more than 30 years in the United States.”

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