Foreign buyers who understand the value of U.S. homeownership are taking advantage of the opportunities in today's housing market. The National Association of REALTORS® 2010 Profile of International Home Buying Activity survey revealed that international interest in U.S. real estate is currently driven by the strength of the dollar, the value and desirability of U.S. real estate and the emerging economic recovery.
Foreign buyers are estimated to have purchased $66 billion in U.S. property over the past year, which represents 7 percent of the total residential market. Twenty-eight percent of Realtors® reported working with at least one international client in the past year, a significant increase from 23 percent in the 2009 survey. Eighteen percent of all Realtors® were estimated to have completed at least one sale, up from 12 percent in the 2009 survey.
Currently I am working with a Canadian buyer who already owns investment property in Battle Creek, Michigan. He explained to me that the Canadian economy has not been hit hard with foreclosures, and currently is pretty stable. He explained that there are just five banks in Canada, and they are government owned, but the lending is standardized enough to make it relatively consistent to borrow money if you qualify.
He is looking at picking up some more rental property in the Battle Creek area, and we are drawing up a plan to do so. With this data, I occurred to me that other international markets are stronger or at least more stable than the U.S. in many areas, and can perhaps bring new opportunities for investment dollars to enter the country.
I thought this information from the National Association of Realtors was interesting. Perhaps more and more external dollars can be recovered by our nation from foreign investment in smaller property. I am not sure what kind of long term forecast this might offer for local investors or the economy, but I guess a lot of this remains to be seen.
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