Tough Immigration Laws Lead To New-Home Premium Surge In Georgia

April 27, 2017

In 2010 in Georgia, the average new home was 33.9 percent more expensive than the typical existing home in the same ZIP code. That chasm has since reached 50 percent, and analysis from Zillow links it back to strict immigration policies.

In May 2011, Georgia enacted HB 87, a law that set penalties of 15 years in prison and fines of up to $250,000 for workers that were found to have used fake identification to get a job.

According to the Pew Hispanic Center, the unauthorized immigrant population of Georgia fell after 2011, but the group still remains a significant part of the construction labor force.

The spike in the new-home premium in Georgia does not capture the full effects of HB 87 on the market for new homes. Builders can and do adapt to higher costs in various ways, including by building fewer homes or focusing their efforts in different, less-expensive areas. But the data do suggest that Georgia’s HB 87 contributed to higher new construction prices in the state.

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