Sales of U.S. residential real estate to overseas buyers between April 2014 and March 2015 reached a record $104 billion, or about 8 per cent of total existing home sales, according to the National Association of Realtors.
The Chinese were far and away the top foreign buyers of real estate last year, with buyers from China, Hong Kong and Taiwan accounting for $28.6 billion in sales, reported CNBC. Canada ranked second, with $11.2 billion, followed by India with $7.9 billion. They mainly gravitated to homes in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, and New York.
Overall, Florida was the top state for overseas real estate buyers, accounting for 21 percent of all U.S. sales to foreign buyers. California slotted into second, with 16 percent, followed by Texas with 8 percent, and Arizona with 5 percent. The top four states accounted for half of overseas buying.
Foreign buyers were primarily focused on higher-end homes. The mean purchase price for overseas buyers was $499,600, which is nearly twice the national mean purchase price of $255,600. Furthermore, about 55 percent of overseas buyers paid all-cash, according to the report.
The report also found that U.S. real estate remains a relative bargain compared to other global cities favored by the wealthy. For instance, CNBC cited a condo costing $1.6 million in New York would cost more than $4 million in Paris and $2 million in Moscow.
The resurging real estate market is a sign that the U.S. economy is finally on the mend after slogging through a six-year recovery period.
“What we’ve seen is that demand is off the charts in 2015 — and that is really boosting sales,” Nela Richardson, chief economist at the brokerage Redfin, told the Associated Press. “Last year, buyers were dipping their toes in their water. Now, they’re diving in,” she exclaimed.
This article first appeared on Americanbazaaronline.com.