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Fewer Foreigners Buying U.S. Homes

Phil Hall
Jul 26, 2018
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Fewer global homebuyers are snapping up U.S. residential properties, according to new data from the National Association of Realtors (NAR).
 
In the period from April 2017 to March 2018, foreign home purchases in this country totaled $121 billion, a 21 percent decline from the previous 12-month period. Foreign buyers and recent immigrants accounted for 8 percent of the $1.6 trillion existing home sales during this time, down 10 percent during the 12-month period that ended March 2017.
 
Five countries accounted for 49 percent of the dollar volume of purchases by foreign buyers: China ($30.4 billion), Canada ($10.5 billion), the U.K. ($7.3 billion), India ($7.2 billion) and Mexico ($4.2 billion). However, the bulk of foreign buying activity was mostly limited to a handful of states: Florida (19 percent), California (14 percent) and Texas (9 percent), Arizona and New York (both 5 percent).
 
The median price for a foreign buyer was $292,400, compared to the median price for all existing homes ($249,300). Forty-seven percent of all international transactions were reported as all cash, compared to 21 percent of existing-home sales, while buyers from India were most likely to finance their home purchase through a U.S. mortgage (78 percent). 
 

“After a surge in 2017, we saw a decrease in foreign activity in the housing market in the latest year, bringing us closer to the levels seen in 2016,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist. “Inventory shortages continue to drive up prices and sustained job creation and historically low interest rates mean that foreign buyers are now competing with domestic residents for the same, limited supply of homes.” 


 
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