Mar 22, 2013

Foreign buyers picking up US Homes at record rate

This is an interesting read - particularly if one is in the processing business, and trying to figure out the implications on our own business impact ... NAR report shows that these foreigners are snapping up great deals, and they are doing so for a number of purposes. Some are wealthy investors who are reacting positively to the slow signs of economic recovery in the U.S., and who are bullish on the real estate market. Others are looking for vacation homes in tourist destinations such as Miami and Orlando. There are some new immigrants in the mix as well; foreigners who have filed for extended visas and are applying for residency status for academic, business and lifestyle reasons.

Real Estate Agents Welcome Foreign Buyers
The strong demand for single-family residences and apartments has prompted the NAR to make changes to its website to make it more attractive to foreigners. More than 4 million listings across the U.S. can now be browsed from several countries in different languages.

Foreign home buyers are welcomed by real estate agents and even some mortgage brokers. Real estate financing has become difficult for many Americans, and for foreigners it is even more restrictive. As a result, many of the housing acquisitions by foreigners are closed in cash. The sunnier regions of the country are thus far favored by foreign home shoppers, and not just because of the warmer climates. Arizona, California, Florida, and Texas are also attractive due to the large inventory of unsold and distressed homes available.

What the Future Holds
Those who are concerned that foreigners will one day rule the American real estate market underestimate the huge inventory of the domestic market, valued at over one trillion dollars. At this moment, foreign real estate investors are doing their part to shore up the ailing housing market.

Real estate agents are naturally welcoming foreign buyers with open arms, and some lawmakers have proposed bills that would allow foreigners to obtain U.S. visas if they specifically make a significant investment in American housing. While there are a number of visa programs in place for foreigners who wish to buy a home in the U.S., this bill aims to attract investors willing to purchase homes valued at more than $500,000.

Anyone with half a million - will they require a mortgage? And if so who will finance these homes? And on what basis? Would be interesting to see ...

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