Schumer to introduce bill giving visas to foreign buyers of U.S. homes

TRD New York /
Oct.October 20, 2011 10:25 AM

Sen. Chuck Schumer is one of two senators introducing a bipartisan bill aimed at improving the housing market by offering an incentive to foreign buyers, the Wall Street Journal reported. He and Sen. Mike Lee of Utah want to offer residence visas to any foreigner that spends at least $500,000 on residential real estate in the United States. The measure compliments existing rules that offer visas to foreign investors that create jobs in America.

“This is a way to create more demand without costing the federal government a nickel,” Schumer said.

During the current downturn, foreign investors have become a growing part of the U.S. real estate market. In New York, buyers from China and elsewhere are increasingly shopping for condos, while in South Florida, Latin American and Canadian buyers are driving an otherwise stagnant market. In the 12 months ending in March 2011, foreigners accounted for $82 billion of U.S. home sales, compared to $66 billion in the trailing 12 months.

As a result, some opponents of the idea, including Realogy CEO Richard Smith, say it’s an unnecessary measure as foreign buyers have shown they don’t need incentive to make purchases. But restrictive immigration laws are hindering some would-be purchasers, real estate agents say, and any increase in housing sales could improve confidence in the market and in turn ignite a recovery. [WSJ]


Related Articles

arrow_forward_ios
Wall Street investors are prepared to buy and turn single-family homes into rentals when forbearance programs expire and homeowners look to sell. (iStock)

Wall Street investors bet on single-family rentals as mortgage payments stack up

Wall Street investors bet on single-family rentals as mortgage payments stack up
(iStock)

Landlords lost about $9B in rental payments last quarter: report

Landlords lost about $9B in rental payments last quarter: report
Fed Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell (Getty)

What low interest rates through 2023 means for real estate

What low interest rates through 2023 means for real estate
As rates hold steady at 3 percent, the average loan hit another record high: $370,200 (iStock)

Size does matter: Mortgage loan average swells to new record

Size does matter: Mortgage loan average swells to new record
Lennar's Stuart Miller, Rick Beckwitt and Jon Jaffe (Lennar; iStock)

Lennar reports untempered demand for new homes in Q3

Lennar reports untempered demand for new homes in Q3
The average size of a home loan hit a new record of $368,600 (iStock)

Mortgage size hits record high as rates slip

Mortgage size hits record high as rates slip
Mortgage refinancings jumped 200% the second quarter, a record high, as lenders provided over $1 trillion in home loans. (iStock)

Mortgage refinancings hit record high in Q2

Mortgage refinancings hit record high in Q2
Douglas Elliman chairman Howard Lorber (Getty)

Howard Lorber says bidding wars are still happening in NYC

Howard Lorber says bidding wars are still happening in NYC
arrow_forward_ios

The Deal's newsletters give you the latest scoops, fresh headlines, marketing data, and things to know within the industry.

Loading...