Market Overview

Foreign Buyers Purchase $92 Billion of U.S. Real Estate


International sales of U.S. residential real estate rose to $92 billion last year from $68.2 billion in 2012 due to affluent Chinese nationals who contributed $22 billion or 24 percent of the total sales, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR).


Almost half of the foreign transactions come from only five countries, with China as the largest foreign buyer by dollar volume. Canada registered at the second spot with $13.8 billion while United Kingdom and India follow at $5.8 billion each.


California remains the most preferred state of the Chinese who reportedly look for “high-end condos and high-end waterfront houses”and use their properties as either vacation/rental homes or their primary residence. Florida, however, continues to be the top choice for foreign buyers. Other states with top home sales include Texas and Arizona. Florida accounted for 23 percent of sales, followed by California with 14 percent, Texas with 12 percent and Arizona with 6 percent.


According to the NAR report, foreign buyers are looking for U.S. properties for different reasons such as housing for those relocating in the U.S., relocating for a job or children’s education, for investment and portfolio diversification, and for vacation purposes.


The report also revealed that foreign buyers who prefer high-end real estate properties pay in cash. About 60 percent of total sales by international buyers were paid by cash, up from a third in 2007.


The average price for sales to foreign buyers was $396,180 for the 12 month period. The existing U.S. home sales account only for $247,417.


The US residential real estate sales have been seeing a steady growth since 2012.This year the housing market will continue to recover with rising house prices and higher mortgage rates.


Helping real estate agents attain their target sales goalwhile maintaining lower tours costs is RealBiz Media Group’s (OTC: RBIZ)NestBuilder, a new digital tool allowing real estate agents reach out to far-flung buyers and even locals.


NestBuilder is a web site where agents connect with potential customers in the U.S. and in other countries through interactive listings, virtual tours and microsites. Through NestBuilder, both the agent and the client save more time and money during the buyout process.


The digital media and technology company also allows real estate agents to offer home video tours.


Such technology will allow its clients to tap into the overseas market and sell properties to foreign nationals.

The preceding article is from one of our external contributors. It does not represent the opinion of Benzinga and has not been edited.


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