International Buyers Push U.S. Real Estate Higher

Many international buyers find the U.S to be a desirable place to buy property because of its low prices and the average value of the dollar.

National Association of Realtors

The National Association of Realtors 2012 Profile of International Home Buying Activity,  reported the  total residential international sales in the U.S. equaled $82.5 billion. These numbers are from the year ending March 2012. These numbers are up from $66.4 billion in 2011. Total international sales were evenly split between non-resident foreigners and recent immigrants. The survey asked Realtors to report their international business activity within the U.S. for the 12 months ending March 2012.

Advantages of the Market

Today’s advantageous market conditions have drawn more and more foreign buyers to the U.S. in recent years, signaling how desirable and profitable owning property in this country can be. The president of the National Association of Realtors notes that lower costs of homes, inventory options, and exchange rates have given international buyers more interest to purchase in the states. The dynamic knowledge and experience that international real estate agents possess gives foreign buyers an advantage of what to expect when investing in property in the United States. Their expertise and strategies in various real estate markets gives them a different outlook on the real estate market in the United States.

International Buyers

International buyers bought homes throughout the country, but four states accounted for 51 percent of the purchases—Florida, California, Texas and Arizona. Florida has been the fastest growing destination of choice, accounting for 26 percent of foreign purchases. California was second with 11 percent and Texas and Arizona accounted for seven percent. Proximity to the home country, the presence of relatives and friends, the convenience of air transportation, and climate and location are all important considerations to prospective foreign buyers.

Locations on the East Coast generally attract European buyers, while Asian buyers tend to purchase on the West Coast, particularly California. Florida attracts a diverse set of international buyers including South Americans, Europeans and Canadians. Meanwhile, Texas remains popular among Mexican buyers. Within markets in an individual state, it is not unusual to find concentrations of people grouped by nationality.

International buyers understand that investing in real estate property in the U.S. is financially and socially beneficial. Studies show that many international buyers purchase U.S. real estate as a vacation getaway or as an investment to further their assets. Many international buyers see home ownership in America as a significant achievement.

International buyers come from all over the globe but places like:

  • Canada
  • China (The People’s Republic of China including Hong Kong)
  • Mexico
  • India
  • United Kingdom

These places accounted for 55 percent of all international transactions, according to the survey. Canada and China remain the fastest-growing home countries. Canada accounted for 24 percent of international sales while China accounted for 11 percent, up from nine percent in 2011. Mexico was third with eight percent of sales and India and the U.K. both accounted for six percent.

All of these important factors will keep the international buyers coming back to the U.S.

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