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Slowdown in undocumented immigration drives up housing costs

Staff writer ▼ | February 18, 2016
More than 50% of the experts said the continued decline of undocumented immigration in the U.S. will drive up construction labor costs.
Immigration house
People and houses   Zillow Home Price Expectations Survey
Those experts were surveyed in the Zillow Home Price Expectations (ZHPE) Survey.

The number of immigrants in the U.S. who entered the country illegally has remained flat for more than five years, according to data from Pew Hispanic Center.

The undocumented Mexican immigrant population in the United States, in particular, is now 20 percent smaller than it was in 2007.

The quarterly ZHPE survey, sponsored by Zillow and conducted by Pulsenomics LLCi, asked more than 100 housing experts about their expectations for the housing market.

Of those, 85 answered a question about how immigration might affect the housing market.

More than two-thirds of those surveyed said an immigration slowdown would drive up construction labor costs.

About 43 percent said a decline in the undocumented immigrant population would result in more construction jobs for U.S.-born workers and other foreign-born workers.

Forty percent said that higher labor costs would, in turn, cause builders to focus on high-end construction, which has a higher profit margin.

More than 30 percent of respondents tied immigration trends to the lack of inventory, and predicted that the number of new homes built will remain lower than historic norms.