Construction and Home Remodeling Statistics: Immigrant Home Owners

Immigrants represent a growing group of American home owners who invest in construction and home remodeling. Statistics outline the projects that immigrants favor when it comes to improving their residences.

Immigrants as Home Owners


A 2007 study — conducted by Germany’s Institute for the Study of Labor — uncovered that immigrants were more likely to become home owners, if they form a strong tie to their host countries. For the sake of economics, homeownership is a sign of success, much like participation in the labor force or the accumulation of wealth. While in Germany overall homeownership stays close to only 42 percent, in the United States it goes up to almost 63 percent.

Construction and Home Remodeling Projects Statistics

The home remodeling industry is of course quite busy in a country with 63 percent homeownership. That being said, statistics bear out that home improvement jobs have seen a nine percent decrease. This goes hand in hand with a lessening of home remodeling spending by 3.5 to 4.5 percent. Savvy construction and home remodeling contractors are now looking to the growing numbers of home-owning immigrants as a – thus far – underserved consumer group.

Which Home Remodeling Projects Do Immigrants Favor?

The Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University has been tracking the home improvement, remodeling and construction trends among immigrants. Its findings are quite revealing.

** Kitchen and bathroom home remodeling projects were favored by 22 percent of immigrants in the timeframe spanning 2000 to 2007. (Only 19 percent of American non-immigrants focused their spending primarily on these areas.)

** Overall property improvement came in second, with 20 percent of immigrant home owners spending their funds on these projects. Interestingly, Native-born Americans heavily favored this category by 24 percent.

** Room additions and exterior replacements expenditures were identical at 17 percent each for both groups of home owners.

** A small difference exists when tabulating the expenses incurred for systems and equipment; immigrants spent 10 percent as opposed to native-born Americans’ 11 percent.

** Finally, a bigger difference is evident in the spending on interior replacements. Immigrants spending in this arena totaled 14 percent, but it showed only 12 percent for non-immigrant Americans.

Why Home Remodeling Statistic Matter to the Construction Industry

Marketing-savvy construction and home remodeling companies are peppering home owners with business postcards and phone calls. A lot of this marketing expense could be better channeled by understanding the underserved demographic that is the immigrant home owner and honing in on the projects that matter to them.

For example, native-born recent home buyers are likely to spend money on remodeling projects right away, while this is not the case for foreign-born newly-minted homeowners. Who knew?


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