Zillow published research this week making a connection between stricter immigration laws and higher construction costs. The analysis looked at Georgia and its strict immigration law which went into effect in 2011. Since the law took effect, new-construction premiums on homes in the state have increased dramatically, while premiums in the rest of the country have remained relatively flat.
Before implementation of the law, a typical new home in Georgia cost 33.9% more than an existing home. That figure has since jumped to 52.2%. During the same time frame, national figures increased from 30.3% to 35.7%.
While the study only looked at new home construction, it’s possible that this increase in construction costs has been felt across the board – including multifamily. Immigration reform is one of several policy priorities for the current administration. The article does not make any policy suggestions, but points out differing arguments on the topic: yes, lower-cost labor may certainly be a benefit, but the economy could also benefit from native workers being paid better wages. The data is clearer than the solution.