Foreign Buyers on the Rise in California

Did you know that overseas buyers and newcomers to the U.S. accounted for nearly 7% of all U.S. home sales in the last year? We were surprised to see this – among many other interesting statistics – in a recent study by the National Association of Realtors, prompting us to ask our readers, who are your buyers and what does this mean for the U.S. market?
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According to the recently released study, real estate sales to foreign buyers and new immigrants surged to new highs in the last year, with Southern California being a hotspot with $92 billion in home sales for the 12 months ending in March, up 35% from the year before and higher than the previous record of $82.5 billion set in 2012.

One of the biggest factors driving this increase was a 50% jump in activity from Chinese buyers, who accounted for over $22 billion in purchases last year. And Chinese buyers, in particular, have an eye for Southern California. Los Angeles and Irvine were two of their top three destinations, according to the survey, with San Francisco ranking second.

Los Angeles is the top choice for buyers of several other nationalities, too, according to data tracking searches of Realtor.com. Buyers from India, the United Kingdom, Australia, Ireland and Russia were also most likely to search here. For Mexican buyers, San Diego was the top choice.
The Realtors Assn. said it expects foreign interest in U.S. real estate will continue to grow as the economy grows ever more global.

“We live in an international marketplace, so while all real estate is local, that does not mean that all property buyers are,” said NAR president Steve Brown. “Foreign buyers are being enticed to U.S. real estate because of what they recognize as attractive prices, economic stability and an incredible opportunity for investment in their future.”

So we’d like to know, how much of your business comes from oversea buyers? And do you think increasing foreign activity is ultimately healthy for the market? We’d love to hear your thoughts!

You can read the story here: