Tuesday, July 15, 2014

The Chinese lead the way in the Foreign Purchases of U.S. Residential Property

The American Dream has a big new buyer: the Chinese.
Foreign purchases of U.S. residential real estate jumped 35% last year, with Chinese buyers leading the way, according to a survey published Tuesday by the National Association of Realtors.
Chinese customers purchased $22 billion in housing for the 12-month period ended in March, or around 24% of all foreign sales by dollar volume, up from $12.8 billion, or 19%, during the year-earlier period.
Total international property purchases stood at $92.2 billion, according to the NAR's estimates, up from $68.2 billion the year before and $82.5 billion for the year ending in March 2012. The tally includes purchases by recent immigrants, and accounted for around 7% of all sales of previously owned homes during that period.
European and Latin American buyers have helped push prices of South Florida condos to record highs, while Asian buyers have focused primarily on Los Angeles, San Francisco and Las Vegas. Foreign buyers of all stripes have sent prices of new Manhattan developments to astronomical levels.
For many foreigners, American housing markets are both a bargain and a haven amid concerns over unsustainable asset values abroad. Chinese buyers in particular "want to diversify because the housing market over there is just way too hot," said William Yu, an economist at the University of California Los Angeles.
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