Foreign Home Buyers Continue to Identify U.S. as Profitable Investment, Realtors® Report

Foreign Home Buyers Continue to Identify U.S. as Profitable Investment, Realtors® Report


According to the National Association of Realtors® 2013 Profile of International Home Buying Activity, interest in U.S. properties continues to grow, signaling that America continues to be regarded by international buyers as a great place to own property. International sales have declined a bit in the past year, but are at their second highest level in recent years. Difficult economic conditions, particularly in Europe, have impacted foreign buyers abroad and here at home tightened credit standards and low housing inventories have made finding a house more difficult. However none of these factors appear to be permanent. Total international sales were $68.2 billion, with 51% of foreign buyers with permanent residences outside the U.S. and 49% who are recent immigrants or temporary visa holders.

Five states made up 61 percent of reported purchases; Florida (23 percent), California (17 percent), Arizona (9 percent), Texas (9 percent) and New York (3 percent). About half of foreign buyers preferred to purchase in a suburban area, while a quarter preferred a more central city/urban area. A majority purchased a detached single-family home and 63 percent used all-cash. Based on the reported international transactions, the mean and median prices of purchases were higher when compared to purchase prices of domestic buyers. For the 12 months ending March 2013 the median international home price was $275,862 and for domestic buyers it was $179,867. The types of homes purchased by international buyers frequently tended to be different from the types of homes purchased by domestic U.S. buyers. “Some are looking for trophy properties while others are interested in modest vacation homes,” said  NAR President Gary Thomas. International buyers are more likely to be substantially wealthier and looking for a property in a specialized niche. International buyers also tend to cluster in locations based on their origin and many other factors including proximity to home country, relatives and friends, jobs, education and climate.


“Realtors® provide international buyers with a significant advantage when purchasing property in the U.S.. Realtors® who have earned NAR’s Certified International Property Specialist designation have received specialized training and are well prepared to service the international market,” said Thomas.Source:, News-releases, 2013, Foreign Buyers Leanne High


“What is right is more important than who is right.”

– John Wooden


August- Existing Home Sales Surge

Existing home sales increased in August despite tightened credit and issues with low appraisals problems.Total existing-home sales rose 7.7% to seasonally adjusted average of 5.03 million, which is up from July’s 4.67 million and 18.6% higher than August of 2010.

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, says the uptick can be attributed to favorable affordability conditions, rising rents and “Investors were more active in absorbing foreclosed properties.

Investors accounted for 22% of purchase activity and FIrst-time homebuyers purchased 32% of home in August. All cash sales accounted for 29% which was unchanged from July.

Why is the market taking so long to get back on track?

The biggest factors keeping home sales from a healthy recover are mortgages being denied to creditworthy buyers, and lower appraised valuations. This leads to “contract failures, or cancellations because of declined mortgage applications. 18% of NAR members reported contract cancellations which is up from 16% in July and 9% in August 2010.

Median existing single-family homes price was 168,400 in August, which is 5.4% below a year ago. In the South, existing-home sales increased 5.4%, which is 16.9% higher than a year ago and the median sales price ONLY went down .8% below August 2010.

It is a great sign to see the year to year median price slowly narrowing the gap from the years past sales. In my opinion, depending on shadow inventories and the economy, we should start seeing a smaller gap in existing median homes sales prices over the next year or two. This would be great news for existing home owners too see their largest investment stop losing value month after month and yearly drop in values since 2007.

“Until Next Time”