Foreign Buyers Acquiring Fewer Us Existing Homes, But Paying More For Them

WRE News August 3, 2023

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Foreign Buyers Acquiring Fewer Us Existing Homes, But Paying More For Them

Foreign buyers purchased $53.3 billion worth of U.S. existing homes during the period from April 2022 through March 2023, according to new data from the National Association of Realtors (NAR). This represented a 9.6% decline from the 12-month period one year earlier.

Foreign buyers purchased 84,600 properties, down 14.2% from the prior year and the lowest quantity of homes since 2009, when NAR began tracking this data. NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun attributed this decline to “sharply lower housing inventory in the U.S. and higher borrowing costs across the world.”

But while the quantity of sales was down, the prices being paid were up. The average ($639,900) and median ($396,400) existing-home sales prices among international buyers were the highest ever recorded by NAR – up 7% and 8.3%, respectively, to the previous year. NAR said 15% percent of foreign buyers purchased properties worth more than $1 million from April 2022 to March 2023.

For the 15th consecutive year, Florida remained the top destination for foreign buyers, accounting for 23% of all international purchases. California and Texas tied for second (12% each), followed by North Carolina, Arizona, and Illinois (4% each).

At $1.23 million, Chinese buyers had the highest average purchase price, with a third – 33% – purchasing property in California. China and Canada remained first and second in U.S. residential sales dollar volume at $13.6 billion and $6.6 billion, respectively, continuing a trend going back to 2013, with Mexico ($4.2 billion), India ($3.4 billion) and Colombia ($900 million) rounding out the top five.

“Home purchases from Chinese buyers increased after China relaxed the world’s strictest pandemic lockdown policy, while buyers from India were helped by the country’s strong GDP growth,” Yun said. “A stronger Mexican peso against the U.S. dollar likely contributed to the rise in sales from Mexican buyers.”

NAR is expecting an uptick in foreign acquisitions, with Yun adding, “Recovering international travel following the end of the pandemic will bring more foreign transactions in coming months and years.”


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