Immigrant Homeownership and Immigration Status: Evidence from Spain


  • We are grateful to Jason Barr, John Graham, Anita Alves Pena and Susan Pozo for helpful comments to an earlier draft.


Because of the many advantages of homeownership for immigrants and for the communities where immigrants reside, a variety of countries have implemented policies that facilitate immigrant homeownership. Although these policies hinge on immigration status, the link between immigration status and homeownership is yet to be carefully explored. Using a recent survey of immigrants in Spain, we find that permanent residents from the EU15 enjoy the highest homeownership rates, even after accounting for a wide range of individual and family characteristics known to impact housing ownership. Permanent residents from countries outside the EU15, temporary residents and undocumented immigrants are, respectively, 12, 29, and 33 percentage-points less likely to own a home than permanent residents from the EU15. Overall, the findings highlight the differences in homeownership by immigrant status, possibly reflecting differences in cultural adaptation and integration across immigrants in the host country.