Foreign buyers of U.S. real estate on the rise

by | Oct 21, 2014 | Blog, Denver Real Estate Market

For Sale Sign in front of a HomeAs China continues its rise in world stature, the country is making its mark on American residential real estate. Recent figures show that China led the way in foreign purchases of U.S. real estate last year.

Chinese buyers accounted for 24% of all foreign sales last year, according to the National Association of Realtors’ annual survey of international property sales. They spent $22 billion on U.S. real estate between March 2013 to March 2014, $12.8 billion (19%) over the previous survey period.

Canada also ranked high, with 15% of all international purchases in the U.S., followed by United Kingdom (6%); India (6%); and Mexico (5%).

In fact, foreign sales of U.S. real estate are up significantly all around. Such purchases rose by a whopping 35% last year, totaling $92.2 billion. That represents 7% of all sales of previously-owned homes in that time period.

Experts cite the dollar’s weakness against some foreign currencies as one of the reasons for the increase. Steve Brown, president of the NAR, also credits “attractive prices” and “economic stability” in this country.

Another statistic might also shed light on the reason: Two of the same countries credited with significant U.S. purchases — the UK and Canada — boast some of the most overpriced housing markets, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

Meanwhile, if you’re looking for value outside of America, consider Japan. Housing prices in Tokyo are “significantly undervalued,” according to the same OECD study. Based on a ratio of home prices to average income, homes in Japan are undervalued by approximately 37%.

Interested in learning more about how foreign investments are affecting the Denver real estate market? Contact one of our agents to learn more.

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