Passage of immigration reform could be a boon to the real estate and mortgage markets over the next decade.
So says the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals in San Diego. If Congress approves legislation providing a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, the organization expects the country's pool of home buyers to swell by three million, generating some $500 billion in new mortgages.
The estimates are based on the assumption that some six million unauthorized immigrants would probably pursue legalization if given the opportunity. That's a little more than half of the total number of unauthorized immigrants in the United States, which the Pew Research Hispanic Center estimates to be 11.1 million. Almost 60 percent of those are Mexicans.
The association calculated that about three million of those who would pursue legalization would also buy homes, based on previous rates of homeownership among foreign-born households, said Gary Acosta, the chief executive of the real estate association.
The $500 billion in real estate transactions would also generate $25 billion in mortgage origination and refinance income, and $28 billion in commission income to real estate professionals, the association says.