The passing of SB 1070 – Arizona’s tough new immigration law – certainly caused a stir in the media. But according to some experts it may also cause disruption in the already delicate housing market, sending even more people into foreclosure and bankruptcy.
Deterring illegal immigrants from coming to or residing in Arizona is the stated purpose of the law. But in a state that depends on population growth for its economic foundation, any disruption to the population could prove disastrous to the housing market.
Real estate analysts are watching the market very carefully to see if more people are moving out of Arizona – and if more people are staying away. Mike Orr, a Phoenix housing analyst, stated that estimates of undocumented aliens living in Arizona reach as high as several hundred thousand – and if these people leave in significant numbers the demand for housing will probably decline.
Adding to the exodus are the large number of legal immigrants and American citizens of Hispanic origin who do not want to stay in Arizona, where they feel they will be treated as second-class citizens.
And while many Arizona residents believe that illegal immigrants don’t own homes, housing experts in the state say that tens of thousands of undocumented aliens have purchased homes in the Phoenix area. During the housing boom, many lenders simply did not check documentation or even faked credentials in order to sell more loans.
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