Foreign buyers spent $10B less on US resi properties in 2015 

Year-over-year drop represents the lowest level of their investment since 2013
July 07, 2016 08:45AM

Venezuela, Brazil, Argentina and Colombia and Miami

The flags of Venezuela, Brazil, Argentina and Colombia, and Miami’s skyline

From the New York website: Foreign buyers are inching away from residential property in the U.S., causing purchases to drop by $10 billion this year.

Non-U.S. residents only bought $44 billion worth of residential real estate during the fiscal year that ended in March, the Wall Street Journal reported. The $10 billion drop represented the lowest level of foreign investment in residential real estate since 2013, according to a survey by the National Association of Realtors released on Wednesday. The average price of the homes purchased by these buyers also fell in 2015 to $480,000 from $500,000.

Though purchases by immigrants increased, the share of non-resident foreign buyers plunged to 41 percent from 50 percent.

This is potentially bad news for Miami developers who — facing a softening luxury market — largely depend on foreign buyers to scoop up their new high-priced condo units that will soon come online. The weakening economies in China, Europe and South America and the strength of the U.S. dollar may have played a part in the decrease, the newspaper reported.

Chinese buyers purchased $27 billion worth of residential real estate in 2015, the largest of any group but a drop from the previous year’s $28.6 billion.

And in the wake of Britain’s break from the European Union, Miami may see a spike in international interest. The Real Deal reported last month that investors may shy away from London’s uncertain market and decide to instead park their cash in South Florida. [WSJ] — Kathryn Brenzel