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

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
Exhausting other options, buyers flock to fixer-uppers
Exhausting other options, buyers flock to fixer-uppers
Exhausting other options, buyers flock to fixer-uppers
(iStock)
Up, up and away: Home prices soar beyond buyers’ reach
Up, up and away: Home prices soar beyond buyers’ reach
(iStock)
Canada’s surging housing market may be peaking
Canada’s surging housing market may be peaking
Of the 110 metro areas with at least half a million people, 29 saw losses in 2020. (iStock)
More urban areas lost population in 2020
More urban areas lost population in 2020
Zillow CEO Rich Barton (Getty)
Zillow profits hit record $52M in Q1
Zillow profits hit record $52M in Q1
(Getty, iStock/Illustration by Alexis Manrodt for The Real Deal)
Renters prepare for eviction crisis as aid is held up
Renters prepare for eviction crisis as aid is held up
2468 Kenmore Street in East Meadow (Google Maps)
Long Island man evades eviction for 20 years
Long Island man evades eviction for 20 years
Every region except the Midwest saw month-over-month and year-over-year increases in pending sales. (iStock)
Pending home sales rebound
Pending home sales rebound
arrow_forward_ios

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

Loading...