By Christina B. Farnsworth. Immigrants make up 14 percent of first-time home buyers, according to "New Americans, New Homeowners: The Role and Relevance of Foreign-Born First-Time Homebuyers in the U.S. Housing Market," released from Harvard's Joint Center for Housing Studies in August.

Joint Center director Nicolas P. Retsinas says 10 million immigrants will be ready to buy in the next decade. Study author Rachel Bogardus Drew found these first-time buyers generally make larger down payments than native-born buyers (who typically put down 4 percent). Of the immigrants, Asians put the most down with a median of 14 percent. Immigrant blacks pay 9 percent, whites pay 10 percent, and Hispanics pay 4 percent down.