Where Investors Got Rich

by Gary North – May 14, 2015

This map is a revelation. It is on crowded houses in the United States.


What do they mean, “crowded”? Residency is above one person per room, not including bathrooms. A 7-room house would house over 7 people.

Incredible, you say? You have not heard of anything like this, you say. You are correct: the national average of crowded houses is 3%.

In ZIP codes all over Southern California, the average is over 40%. Check the interactive map.

There is another map. It is interactive. You can see how crowded specific ZIP codes are. There are significant variations. Go here: http://graphics.latimes.com/crowding-map.

This has been known for at least 25 years. The occupants are also known: Hispanics. Multiple families live in the same house. In most areas, this is not legal. Zoning codes prohibit it. But the codes are not enforced.

This is why Hispanics have replaced Blacks in south-central Los Angeles, also known as Watts. They crowd the families into the homes, and everybody pools his money so they can either rent or make a down payment on the home. Everybody inside is described as a cousin.

Compare two photographs of the 405 freeway in Los Angeles. One was taken in 1960. Guess which one that was.

405 Fwy

405 Fwy today

The standard government estimate of how many people will be living in the United States in 2050 is this: about 400 million. This is an increase of 25% above the population today. If you could pinpoint a region in which there is going to be remarkable growth it would be Texas. There are similar demographics, and there will be a lot of economic opportunity. The magnet effect will continue.

Anybody who bought Los Angeles County real estate in 1990, which was a recession year, has made a great deal of money. The same thing is true of anybody who bought property in Orange County. Yet in terms of how most Americans would view the economic conditions of these high-density ZIP Codes, they would say that this was a decline in family wealth. This would be accurate. These families are poor. But real estate values have skyrocketed.

In 1990, a recession year, real estate values in Hispanic districts continued to move upward. This was when it became clear that Hispanics were replacing Blacks in south-central Los Angeles. I remember reading about this at the time.

Overcrowding can be extremely profitable for people who buy real estate and hold it. We do not think of it this way, but that is because we are Anglos. I remember a pastor in Tyler, Texas, who kept buying up low-priced homes in an Hispanic section of town in the 1980’s. He was Hispanic. His net worth is probably above $1 million today.

In the next recession, I expect to partner with an Hispanic in Texas. I will put up the money; he will do the shopping and the managing. Comprende, amigos?


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