Chinese immigrants dodged the U.S. housing bust

The U.S. housing bust ensnared native-born Americans and immigrants alike. That is, except for one group who bucked the trend.
Written by Kirsten Korosec, Contributor

The U.S. housing bust ensnared native-born Americans and immigrants alike. That is, except for Chinese immigrants, the only group who bucked the trend, according to a Fannie Mae Housing Insights report released Wednesday (and first reported by the WSJ).

The Housing Insights report analyzed data from the Census Bureau's American Community Survey and focused on the five most populous U.S. immigrant groups who represent nearly half of the foreign-born U.S. population, including Mexican, Chinese (including Hong Kong and Taiwan), Indian (Asian), Filipino and Salvadoran. The report looked at homeownership rates, median home values and housing-cost burdens and compared them to those of the native-born U.S. population.

Chinese immigrants not only weathered the U.S. housing bust, they emerged unscathed, according to the report.

Homeownership rates declined for native-born from 69.2 percent in 2007 to 66.7 percent in 2011. Four of the most populous immigrant groups experienced homeownership rate declines from 54.4 percent in 2007 to 51.5 percent in 2011. Homeownership rates of Chinese immigrants remained virtually unchanged moving from 60.6 percent in 2007 to 60.3 percent in 2011.

Chinese immigrants also avoided the same drops in median home values experienced by other immigrant groups and native-born homeowners. The median home-value for native-born homeowners fell 8.2 percent, much less than the 25.6 percent drop experienced by foreign-born homeowners. Meanwhile, Chinese immigrants saw just a one percent decline in median home value.

Native-born Americans owned homes that were generally much lower in value than the foreign-born population, the report says. The median home value in 2011 was $227,100 for foreign-born homeowners versus $170,100 for the native-born population. Chinese homeowners had the highest median home values at $425,600 in 2011.

Graphic: Fannie Mae

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com

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