55% Indian-Americans own house in US: Homeownership report

Though Indian-Americans have the distinction of being the highest-per capita income group among ethnic communities, they lag far behind their European counterparts when it comes to owning a house in the US.

According to the 'Homeownership Among the Foreign-Born Population: 2011', released by the Census Bureau, 55 per cent of the Indian-Americans own a house of their own while 45 live in rented accommodation.

Foreign-born owned households with a householder from Europe were the most likely to be owned free and clear (40 per cent), while foreign-born owned households with a householder from Africa were the least likely to be owned free and clear (14 per cent), it said.

Of the 20 country-of-birth groups with the largest number of foreign-born households in the US, several countries from Europe along with Canada had the highest homeownership rates.

Over 70 per cent of foreign-born households with a householder from Canada (71 per cent), Germany (72 per cent), Italy (79 per cent), and the United Kingdom (73 per cent) were owner occupied.

By comparison, less than one-third of the foreign-born households with a householder born in the Dominican Republic (25 per cent), Guatemala (30 per cent), and Honduras (31 per cent), were owner occupied. Italy and Germany were also among the country-of-birth groups with the highest percentage of owned homes that were owned free and clear.

About half of foreign-born households that were owned and had householders from Italy and Germany owned their homes free and clear (55 per cent and 51 per cent, respectively).

"Home ownership is a goal shared by many residents of the United States, both native- and foreign-born, citizen and non-citizen," said Elizabeth Grieco, chief of the Foreign-Born Population Branch at the Census Bureau.

"For immigrants in particular - who maintain nearly one in seven households in the US - making the transition from renter to homeowner represents a significant investment in the United States," Grieco said.

This report found that foreign-born naturalised citizens were more likely to own their homes than foreign-born non-citizens. In naturalized citizen households, 66 per cent were owner-occupied. That compares with 34 per cent of non-citizen households.

Rates of homeownership among foreign-born households also increased with time spent in the United States. Among foreign- born households with a householder who entered the US before 1980, nearly three-fourths were owned rather than rented.

Among households headed by someone who entered the US since 2000, only one-fourth were owned.

According to the brief, just 10 metropolitan statistical areas accounted for about half the nation's foreign-born households in 2011, led by New York and Los Angeles, each of which had more than one million foreign-born households.

Rounding out the top five were Miami, Chicago and Houston. Nearly half, or about 45 per cent, of the metropolitan areas in the Northeast, particularly in New York and Pennsylvania, exceeded the national homeownership average for foreign-born households of 52 per cent.

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