Foreign investment in U.S. homes soared 49%

  • Foreign buyers purchased $153.0 billion of residential property from April 2016—March 2017, an increase from $102.6 billion during the previous 12-month period (April 2015—March 2016).
  • China remained as the top country of origin for foreign buyers, followed by Canada, the United Kingdom, Mexico, and India.
  • Although foreigners purchased property nationwide, five states accounted for 54 percent of total residential property purchases: Florida, Texas, California, New Jersey, and Arizona.
  • Most non-resident foreign buyers made an all-cash purchase (72 percent), while a smaller fraction of resident foreign buyers paid all-cash (35 percent).
  • Twenty-nine percent of REALTOR® respondents reported working with international clients, about the same fraction as in the previous 12-month period.

What percentage of this is from resident “foreigners”? They count non-citizen resident as “foreigner” so the total number is misleading.

If you don’t trust the total number, how about the rate of change? 49% jump seems pretty significant to me.

Many green card, h1b and undocumented are buying this year, perhaps?

There are tons of H1B and green card buyers in BA, it would be silly to think of these buyers as foreign buyers

The jump follows a year-earlier retreat and comes as a surprise, given the current strength of the U.S. dollar against most foreign currencies, which makes U.S. housing even more expensive. Apparently, the value of a financial safe-haven is outweighing the rising costs.

Foreign sales accounted for 10 percent of all existing home sales by dollar volume and 5 percent by number of properties. In total, foreign buyers purchased 284,455 homes, up 32 percent from the previous year.

Half of all foreign sales were in just three states: Florida, California and Texas.

Chinese buyers led the pack for the fourth straight year, followed by buyers from Canada, the United Kingdom, Mexico and India. Russian buyers made up barely 1 percent of the purchases.


Interesting observation: China’s GDP is 4x that of India. So its citizens bought 4x the value of real estates in America.

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Considering size, New Jersey and Arizona are the favorite with “foreign” buyers.

And Arizona is cheap still. A good time to long Arizona

The issue with Arizona is that it might run out of water. But I suppose CA also has the issue of earthquake.

In the immigration terminology a foreign national is anybody with no American citizenship. It includes visitors, legal temporary workers, green card holders. No idea who can sell real estate to undocumented people. We were told when we bought our home we needed a green card.
That’s all.

Jersey? really…

Why not? No earthquake to fear, no water shortage, and no hurricane!!!

My guess is most transactions are in the part near NYC. Unless foreign buyers watched “Jersey Shore” and it makes them want to own RE there. ha!

Jersey has a lot of Indians I think. And they own a lot of gas stations and motels.

This news is making the round. Canadians are big buyers in Florida:

Although Chinese buyers were the biggest purchasers of American houses for a third straight year, the volume of sales from Canada surged the most among major foreign countries from a year earlier.

Canadians bought $19 billion worth of residential property, 113% more year-on-year.

Canadians are buying vacation homes in Florida in bulk because their land is freezing cold.

Some more colors on Chinese buyers:

NAR found that among Chinese buyers, 65 per cent paid cash, while 26 per cent used a US mortgage.

Twenty-one per cent bought property as an investment, while 39 per cent planned to use the purchase as either a vacation or residential investment. Eight per cent were bought as student accommodation.

Other finer detail showed 31 per cent bought properties in central city or urban areas, but suburban purchases (61 per cent) were the most popular, with small town buys at just 7 per cent.

Sixty-seven per cent of the purchases were detached single-family homes, 14 per cent were townhouses and condominiums accounted for 13 per cent of sales.

“Realtors said tighter regulations on capital outflows in China cooled non-resident foreign buyer interest in early 2017,” said Lawrence Yun, chief economist at NAR, referring to the 6,000 realtors surveyed.

I expect to see NY on the list but I guess NJ is close enough.

Once again, the US tops out the list of destinations for Chinese high-net worth individuals (HNWI) looking to move abroad. Canada came in second and Britain dropped down to third. In many ways, Brexit and a cheaper pound have been very good for the UK in regards to Chinese tourism, which has risen dramatically this year. But a cheaper pound alone was not enough to entice more rich Chinese to consider moving to the UK.

The Hurun Report interviewed 304 individuals with net worths ranging from US$1.5 million to $30 million to produce these findings, which were released in its report: Immigration and the Chinese HNWI 2017. The report only considered countries that had investment immigration policies.

The US dominated the list of most popular cities for HNWI immigration. New York was the fourth most preferred city and San Francisco fell to third this year with Seattle moving up to second. Los Angeles has remained the most preferred city for Chinese HNWI immigration for four years running.

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I can’t believe these idiots picked Seattle over SF. Any idea why???

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Maybe Seattle has better Chinese food? LA definitely has better food. And better looking people too.

90210 baby!

LA is definitely the sex appeal factor. Who wants to be associated with a bunch of computer nerds when there are rock stars to choose from. But Seattle is just another nerd. It must be the pricey real estate that’s holding them back. Cheapskates.