The Decline of the Immigrant Homeownership Advantage: Life-cycle, Declining Fortunes and Changing Housing Careers in Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver, 1981-2001
In the past, working-age immigrant families in Canada's large urban centres had higher homeownership rates than the Canadian-born. Over the past twenty years however, this advantage has reversed, due jointly to a drop in immigrant rates and a rise in the popularity of homeownership among the Canadian-born. This paper assesses the efficacy of standard consumer choice models, which include indicators for age, income, education, family type, plus several immigrant characteristics, to explain these changes. The main findings are that the standard model almost completely explains the immigrant homeownership advantage in 1981, as well as the rise over time among the Canadian-born, but even after accounting for the well-known decline in immigrant economic fortunes, only about one-third of the 1981-2001 immigrant change in homeownership rates is explained. The implications of this inability are discussed and several suggestions for further research are made.
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