The total dollar volume of the sale U.S. real estate to foreign buyers were estimated at $68.2 billion, according to the National Association of Realtors® 2013 Profile of International Home Buying Activity. As reported in my previous two articles on the 2012 Profile (Are Foreign Buyers Losing Interest in U.S. Real Estate?), and the 2011 Profile (Foreign Ownership in U.S. Skyrockets!), international sales for 2012 were $82 billion, and for 2011 were estimated at $66 billion.
Sharp-eyed readers will note that my article about the 2011 Profile reported that global buyer sales were $82 billion. Following the issuance of that report, NAR “rebenchmarked” its sales statistics. In other words, they made mistakes requiring recalculation of their prior assumptions. These errors resulted in the NAR overestimating foreign (and domestic) sales going back to 2007.
The decline reported in the 2013 Profile is attributed mainly to the problems many countries had with their economies and unfavorable exchange rates. In addition, tight credit standards in the U.S. made financing challenging for immigrants.
But despite the dip, the trend is still upward. The 2013 numbers are the second highest ever reported, and are a significant increase over the 2010 volume for international sales of $53.4 billion. And none of the factors cited by the NAR as the cause of the downturn appear to be permanent.
I have written several articles on the importance of foreign buyers to the greater Phoenix metropolitan area. And the 2013 Profile illustrates that despite the temporary slowdown, foreign buyers continue to have a substantial interest in the real estate market in Arizona.
Arizona has moved up and now is tied for third with Texas as the most popular destination for international buyers, at 9% of total foreign sales (up from 7%). And who buys the most properties in Arizona? Canadians of course, with a whopping 66% of all international purchases here. No other country comes close to the strong preference Canadians have to Arizona and our warm winters.
And what do Canadians buy? Overwhelmingly single family homes. 92% prefer them, with 5% purchasing condos/town homes. The rest of the acquisitions are unspecified.
For the fourth year in a row, Canadians also bought more U.S. properties than the citizens of any other country last year, with 23% of the total. China (which includes the Peoples Republic, Hong Kong, and Taiwan), replaced Mexico as number 2 at 12%, with our southern neighbor now third at 8%, and the United Kingdom and India both tied with 5% of the total. Canada and China are the fastest-growing sources of global buyers.
If you are a Canadian or other foreign national wanting to buy here, or an Arizona seller looking to take advantage of the international marketplace, contact me at 480 675-0112 or firstname.lastname@example.org.