NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Immigrants Raise Property Values

February 16, 2000

A study from the Alexis de Tocqueville Institution reveals that the arrival of immigrants correlates heavily with a rise -- not a decline -- in residential property values. Researchers Bronwyn Lance, Margalit Edelman and Peter Mountford studied property values across Washington, D.C. census tracts from 1980 to 1998 to determine how property values had fared in areas with heavy immigrant concentrations.

  • They found that in D.C.'s Adams-Morgan area a 78 percent increase in foreign-born populations coincided with a 21 percent increase in property values.
  • A 72 percent rise in the immigrant population of North Georgetown was accompanied by a 24 percent rise in prices.
  • In D.C., high immigrant areas saw property values improve 13.77 -- far above the 2.36 average for the city.
  • In Northern Virginia, a 113 percent increase in foreigners accompanied a 37.5 percent increase in overall property values.

The researchers also found that in neighborhoods which lost foreign-born populations, values dropped. Ten tracts with the most dramatic decreases in immigrants -- an overall average of 39 percent -- saw home values decline 7.6 percent.

Source: Editorial, "'There Goes the Neighborhood,'" Wall Street Journal, February 16, 2000.


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