Foreign home buyers love Texas

The Lone Star State was the most attractive destination among Mexican buyers and the second-highest among Colombian buyers

Residential real estate, foreign buyers, international sales
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Texas was among the top three markets for foreign home buyers, according to a report from the National Association of Realtors.

International buyers snapped up $59 billion worth of U.S. homes between April 2021 and March 2022. They accounted for 2.6 percent of the $2.3 trillion in sales during that period, the Houston Chronicle reported Tuesday.

Though Texas was behind Florida and California in its share of international buyers, the Lone Star State was the most attractive destination for Mexican buyers and the second-highest among Colombian buyers.

The latest figures mark the first uptick in dollar volume in three years, but that’s really just a reflection of the nation’s spiraling home prices. The number of individual sales was actually down, but the median price paid by foreign buyers was $366,100 — the highest ever recorded by NAR.

After peaking in 2017, the number of homes purchased by foreign buyers has fallen steadily since. Foreign buyers — defined by NAR as recent immigrants, visa holders and people living abroad — purchased 98,600 homes nationwide, the fewest since 2009 when the trade group began tracking such transactions.

“Restrictions and general caution tied to international travel during the pandemic slowed homebuying by wealthier foreign buyers,” said Lawrence Yun, the NAR’s chief economist. “Even so, domestic homebuying demand was exceptional and, therefore, boosted home sales nationally.”

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The organization surveyed 1,101 members with international clients and about 11 percent of international buyers were from Canada, 8 percent from Mexico, 6 percent from China, 5 percent from India, 3 percent from Brazil and 3 percent from Colombia.

Forty-four percent of foreign buyers paid cash, and the same percentage bought homes to use for vacationing or renting out.

Yun expects overall sales nationwide to fall this year, while foreign buyers “are likely to step up purchases, as those making all-cash offers will be immune from changes in interest rates.”

International travel is also recovering, with more flights added and restrictions lifted, Yun said.

Maddy Sperling