Law Office of Ryan S. Shipp, PLLC

Foreign buyers and U.S. homes

According to the National Association of Realtors, investors from other countries are purchasing residential real estate in the United States in record numbers, with half of the foreign sales being made in California, Florida and Texas. Foreigners purchased residential properties totaling $153 billion from April 2016 to March 2017. That is a 49 percent increase from the same period one year earlier and exceeds the previous record that was set in 2015.

The increase in purchases was unexpected considering that housing in the United States has become more expensive with the strength of the dollar compared to a majority of currencies abroad. Investors seem to believe the rising costs of residential properties are worth the financial security the properties provide.

Sales to foreign purchasers made up 10 percent of existing home sales based on dollar amounts. They accounted for 5 percent of sales based on the number of properties moved. The total number of homes purchased by foreign buyers increased 32 percent from the last year to 284,455.

Buyers from China purchased the most homes for the fourth year in a row. Buyers from Canada, India, Mexico and the United Kingdom followed. Buyers from Russia accounted for scarcely 1 percent of all purchases.

Canadian buyers have the largest increase in sales, acquiring $19 billion in residential properties, primarily in Florida. They are also paying more for homes as the average price of a home purchased by a Canadian almost doubled to $561,000.

Individuals who need assistance with handling the legal aspects of buying or selling residential real estate should speak with an attorney who practices real estate law. The attorney may assist by negotiating the terms of purchase agreements as well as drafting and reviewing contracts. Additional services may include resolving zoning laws conflicts or assisting with real estate closings.

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