Research by Tom Tsilionis shows popularity of U.S. real estate among foreign buyers

[USPRwire, Thu Mar 19 2009] The weakening U.S. dollar and declining home values are largely discouraging for American homeowners. For international real estate investors, however, such conditions present opportunity. Foreclosure Specialist and Trainer, Thomas Tsilionis recently released the 2009 TSI REPORT to 85,000 members of The Association of Commercial Real Estate Professionals (ACREPRO). The TSI Report is generated March 1 and September 1 each year and includes a section that relates to International Home Buying Activity.

"TSI estimates that between 150,000 and 190,000 homes were sold to foreign nationals from February 2008 and February 2009," according to the TSI press release on the findings. "Recent foreign buyers purchased properties in every state and the District of Columbia. The most popular states where international buyers purchased homes are Florida, California and Texas. Arizona, New York, Washington and Nevada were also popular."

Nearly half of the properties purchased by foreign buyers were located in the South; 25.4 percent of all property sales to foreign buyers occurred in Florida alone. (For more information on foreign investment in Florida's real estate market, please see our previous article, Florida is the new Europe.)

Foreigners who invest in U.S. real estate also differ from their domestic counterparts in other ways. They tend to buy more expensive properties than domestic real estate investors, and are more likely to purchase a condo or townhome than domestic real estate investors. Foreign buyers purchase properties that cost an average of 36 percent more than domestic buyers, and 14 percent of properties purchased by foreigners cost $750,000 or more, according to the findings.

Investors from China were the most likely to purchase properties at $1 million and more, with 14 percent of Chinese buyers doing so. The median price paid by real estate investors from China was $450,000, the highest median of any location in the report.

"People from North America, Europe and Asia accounted for more than 85 percent of recent foreign home buying transactions. The top six countries of origin for foreign home buyers, in rank order, were Canada, the United Kingdom, Mexico, China, India and Germany," according to TSI's press release. "This year, Canada replaced Mexico as the country with the largest share of foreign buyers in the U.S. The percentage of Canadian buyers doubled from last year, from 11 percent to 23.5 percent."

The research included in the study covers the period between February 2008 and February 2009 and was based on responses from about 4,000 Realtors who work with international real estate investors. Such foreign buyers were defined as those who aren't classified as foreign-born residents of the U.S., and who principally reside out of the U.S.

Thomas Tsilionis
Thomas Tsilionis, Writer Speaker & Trainer
Roseland, NJ

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