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Study: How Undocumented Immigrants Will Affect Construction Costs


As the flow of undocumented immigration slows, construction costs could go up in 2016, a new Zillow survey reveals. According to the study, 67.1% of industry experts expect costs to surge as citizens and permanent residents replace cheaper undocumented workers. 

The undocumented Mexican immigrant population in the US is now 20% smaller than it was in 2007, Pew Hispanic Center data says. Meanwhile, the number of illegal US entrants has remained flat for the past five years.

To justify the higher labor costs, "[builders] may continue to focus on the more profitable higher end of the market," Zillow chief economist Svenja Gudell says. And respondents agree—40% believe developers will pivot to luxury constructions, along with its higher margins, the study says.