More evidence of the strength of foreign buyers in the U.S. housing market revealed itself in a report by NBC News this week. The network was the latest to bring to light how in recent months well-off home-buyers from around the globe are snatching up real estate in the United States, often because it is considered a safe place to put their money.
According to NBC, buyers from Canada, Mexico and China are at the forefront of the foreign invasion. As one broker said in the report, “Their money is safe here. Even if they only break even on a property they know they can get their money out.”
Foreign buyers are scouring all levels of the United States real estate market, but particularly in the “luxury” sector. As pointed out in the story, the National Association of Realtors reported purchases of U.S. homes by foreign buyers reached $82.5 billion between March 2011 and March 2012, a 24 percent increase from the previous year .
Areas that have seen a major influx of foreign money includes several cities in Florida, which tend to be favored by South American buyers; Texas, which typically attracts buyers from Mexico; and California, particularly San Francisco and Los Angeles, which have seen an influx of Chinese buyers.
The numbers break-down like this: Canadians led all international buyers with nearly 24 percent of all foreign sales, which equates to about $16 billion; China was next with 11 percent of all foreign sales totaling $9 billion; and Mexico is third with about $6.5 billion in purchases.
The article goes on to point out most foreign buyers are looking to buy larger homes—or “McMansions,” as they are referred—than the average American. The exception are buyers from Mexico, who buy homes that are actually slightly smaller than the average American buys.