Clearly the US could use a little Vancouverism. They don’t seem to understand that the exciting and nebulous ‘wealthy foreigner’ concept should be enough to drive a housing market to new highs, not rescue it from new lows. Perhaps the problem is that they have actual data on the impact of foreign buyers, instead of relying on vague hype from realtors:
Their purchases accounted for 4.6 percent of the residential market, or about $41.7 billion worth of US property from April 2009 through March 2010. That’s up from the 4.2 percent ($38.8 billion) of the residential market purchased by international buyers in 2008-2009. About 28 percent of American realtors reported having one international client this year, as opposed to 23 percent the year before, according to the report.
Many international buyers cited the emerging economic recovery as a driving force to buy, and most saw the US as a desirable location to own a home. A majority of international buyers purchased homes in regions most impacted by the housing bubble — including Florida, California and Nevada — perhaps in part because of the increased inventory available in these areas.
International buyers also spent significantly more than domestic buyers. They paid, on average, $219,400 on residential properties, as compared to $173,000 for existing home sales during the same period.
But financing continued to be a problem for foreign buyers. About 55 percent of international buyers paid in cash for their homes instead of taking out a mortgage.
Full article here.