Immigrants’ Transition to Homeownership, 1991 to 2006

Barry Edmonston, Sharon M. Lee


Using a lifecourse perspective and a double-cohort model, we analyze 1991, 1996, 2001, and 2006 census data to ask if immigrants are less likely to be homeowners than the Canadian-born, and whether recent immigrants are less likely to own homes than earlier immigrant cohorts. While descriptive findings suggest that immigrants, particularly recent arrivals, have lower homeownership rates than the Canadian-born, multivariate results qualify this impression. The double-cohort model with additional variables shows that immigrants’ transition to homeownership does not differ from those of the Canadian-born. Recent arrivals do begin at lower levels of homeownership, but they rapidly transition to homeownership.


homeownership; immigrants; lifecourse perspective; double-cohort model

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