BC Not Alone in Seeing Foreign Real Estate Investment: US Realtor Association

China beats out Canada again as biggest foreign buyers of US real estate – but most are resident in the States, says US National Association of Realtors

August 2, 2016

American house with US flag

BC is far from the only place seeing foreign investment in real estate, as the latest report from the US National Association of Realtors reveals.

For the second year in a row, Chinese buyers were the largest group of buyers in terms of the number of US properties purchased and the dollar volume, buying 29,195 US homes worth a total of $27.3 billion between April 2015 and March 2016. This is 26.7 per cent of the total dollar volume of residential property sold to foreign buyers, and is despite the Chinese yuan falling about 10 per cent against the US dollar since the previous year.

Canadian buyers purchased $8.9 billion of residential property, which was the second-largest group, both in number of transactions (26,851) and share of dollar volume (8.7 per cent).

Foreign buyers of US property

Foreign buyers of US property 2

The NAR included both non-resident foreign buyers (those living overseas) and resident foreign buyers (non-US citizens living in the US, such as those on temporary visas).

The report said, “Canadian [buyers] were mainly non-resident foreigners while Chinese… foreign buyers were mostly resident. About 80 per cent of Canadianforeign buyers were non-resident buyers. Only 39 per centof Chinese foreign buyers were non-resident, a decrease from the 47 per cent share intheprevious 12-month period. Slower economic growth in China and the depreciation of the yuan [against the US dollar]and tighter regulation on individual capital outflows may account for this.”

The NAR added that the slowdown in US real estate investment from Canada may have been caused by the drop in oil prices and the value of the Canadian dollar against the greenback.

Joannah Connolly is editor-in-chief of Glacier Real Estate, Glacier Media's real estate division. Joannah writes and curates real estate news for Glacier Media's local newspapers, including the Vancouver Courier, and is editor-in-chief of Real Estate Weekly Homes, West Coast Condo, Western Investor and Glacier's special real estate publications. A dual Canadian-British citizen, Joannah has 21 years of journalism and editing experience in Vancouver and London, with a background in construction, architecture and business media. Joannah has appeared on major local TV outlets as a real estate commentator, has moderated and spoken on various industry panels, and spent two years hosting the Real Estate Therapist radio show on Roundhouse Radio.
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