Immigrants’ Legal Status and Homeownership Rates

Catalina Amuedo-Dorantes, San Diego State University
Kusum Mundra, Rutgers University

This study will examine homeownership by recent immigrants in Spain using a recent survey of 15,465 Spanish immigrants – the Encuesta Nacional de Inmigrantes. We add to the literature in a couple of ways. First, we focus on the role of legal status on homeownership rates, as well as on the impact of legal status adjustments on improvements in housing. Second, we focus on Spain –a country that constitutes an interesting case study given the impressive growth of its immigrant population during the past 15 years. Preliminary evidence suggests that undocumented migrants are significantly less likely to own their home than their legal counterparts. Additionally, improvements in legal status are also related to homeownership improvements in the host country. The econometric analysis corroborates our preliminary findings. By underscoring the value of becoming legal on immigrants’ homeownership, our findings emphasize the value of past regularization processes and their consequences for the housing market.

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Presented in Session 100: Housing in International Context