REALTORS® in the U.S. are working with a significant number of international buyers, according to the 2008 NAR Profile of International Home Buying Activity. The study finds that from May 2007 to May 2008, approximately 150,000 to 190,000 homes were sold to foreign buyers. Every state, including the District of Columbia, attracted foreign buyers, with Florida, California and Texas ranking as most popular. The top six countries of origin for buyers were Canada, the United Kingdom, Mexico, China, India and Germany.
International clients typically bought single-family vacation homes costing $297,400; however, 14 percent of properties sold to non-U.S. citizens cost upwards of $750,000. The report concludes that favorable foreign exchange rates have helped make U.S. real estate more affordable for international buyers, 40 percent of whom paid for their properties in U.S. cash.
“Many international buyers recognize that real estate is an excellent investment and are drawn today by abundant inventory, low interest rates and a softer dollar,” said Richard F. Gaylord, CRS, NAR president.
REALTORS® who have sold homes to international clients attribute about 16 percent of their business to such transactions. Twenty-six percent of the REALTORS® surveyed said they served international clients within the last year, and of those, about half ended up purchasing a property. But those figures are down from the 2007 study, which found that 32 percent of REALTORS® had served an international client in the previous year, with 18 percent completing a transaction.
We definitely see an increase in International investors activity in Boston; these buyers are buying condos to their kids who attend collage, investment properties and luxury vacation condos in Boston.