The basic premise of the article is while home ownership is falling among US citizens, among immigrant families, the rate is high and has been increasing steadily.
"Although they represent close to 13 per cent of the US population, immigrants accounted for nearly 36 per cent of growth in home ownership between 2000 and 2010," the article says.
"The number of homeowning immigrant households is projected to rise by 2.8m in the decade ending 2020, compared with a 2.4m gain in the previous 10 years.
"They will account for more than 50 per cent of the rise in home buying in six gateway states such as California and New York." The article - one of growing number in the FT on US property investment - doesn't state it, but the other states usually referred to as gateway states are Texas, Florida, Illinois and New Jersey.
The article interested me because it seems to mirror the situation in my home country, Australia, where migrant families are thought to have high rates of home ownership based on some studies.
The FT article quotes realtors saying property, as a tangible asset class, as opposed to equities, bonds or more complex forms of financial products, is more appealing to people whose first language is not English, at least when they are in an English speaking country.
Immigrant families, one realtor says, are also more likely to pool resources among family members and across generations to buy.
Two major policies changes in the US could boost both the number of migrants (new immigration laws currently being debated) and increase their access to mortgage loans (changes granting legal status to current non-citizens).
I am still not sure how to best capitalise on this knowledge from an investor's point of view, but it is another development (alongside energy independence, the gradual economic recovery and high levels of innovation) that make Ken and I reasonably optimistic about the future there.
Just as food for thought - here below are the top and bottom 10 states for percentage of the population identifiable as migrants in the US. From a foreclosure/distressed housing investor's point of view, probably the ones to take note of - and those where foreign investors have a good foothold - are Florida, Nevada, Illinois and Texas. It's something to think about if you have a set timeframe on selling out of the US - better to have a state that's growing in population, especially where those boosting the numbers are more inclined to buy houses.