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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Immigrant Clusters and Homeownership in Global Metropolises: Suburbanization Trends in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and New York


The premise of this paper is that immigrant homeownership patterns in global metropolitan housing markets are profoundly influenced by international migration dynamics and that homeownership for immigrants is realized in ethnic clusters in varying degrees and in unexpected locations of metropolitan regions. Research shows that ethnic clusters are increasingly emerging in different places -- particularly, in suburban areas of global metropolises as a result of some immigrants following networks of kin and friends along migration chains and bypassing inner cities altogether. In contrast to earlier theories on immigrant residential settlement patterns that view ethnic neighborhoods as disadvantaged “zones-in-transition,” some of these newer clusters have unexpectedly high homeownership rates.

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