Foreign buyers’ interest in U.S. homes cools

Canadians gravitate to NYC in online listings searches
June 27, 2013 02:30PM

While New York remains a popular spot for international home buyers, two new reports suggest foreign interest in American properties may be waning, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Overseas buyers’ purchases of U.S. homes fell 17 percent by dollar value to $68.2 billion in March, down from more than $82 billion a year prior, according to a report from the National Association of Realtors. And foreign buyers are searching online less frequently within the U.S. home market, per a report from listings site Trulia.

NAR pointed to temporary factors such as flagging economies in other countries and lackluster exchange rates as factors slowing the rate of international searches and sales.

Even so, international home sales represent 6 percent of existing home sales by dollar value, according to NAR’s report.

New York, where millionaires from Asia and the Middle East have been snapping up luxury Midtown apartments, landed in Trulia’s top five cities where international home seekers like to look. Big-name developers and brokers have responded in kind, increasingly targeting foreign buyers with culture-specific amenities and pre-construction discussions.

The buyer base to which the city caters is becoming more diverse, according to the Trulia report, with an increasing number of Indians, Nigerians, Brazilians, Chinese and Russians searching U.S. listings.

New York is also a favorite search spot for Canadians, who make up the largest chunk of international searchers on Trulia at 19 percent. [WSJ]Julie Strickland