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Foreign Buyers Drive Demand

U.S. real estate markets are increasingly becoming international, and changing demographics brought forth by immigration and growing interest from foreigners are positioned to bolster home sales activity and prices. That’s according to speakers at the recent international real estate forum organized by the REALTOR® University Center for Real Estate Studies in Washington DC.
Alex Nowrasteh, immigration policy analyst at the Cato Institute, shared insight on the current and future impact of foreign buyers and immigration on the U.S. housing market. He said the rising U.S. population is being bolstered by a growing number of immigrant households, and their presence will continue to transform the housing market. Of the roughly 321.4 million residents in the U.S., 278.1 million are born here (natives) and the remaining 43.3 million – made up of 20.7 million naturalized citizens and 22.6 million non-citizens, foreign-born.
Danielle Hale, Managing Director of Housing Research, said foreigners view the U.S. as a great place to buy and invest in real estate. She noted the upward trend in sales activity from resident and non-resident foreign buyers1 in the past seven years, with total foreign buyer transactions increasing from $65.9 billion in 2010 to $102.6 billion in the latest survey.
A majority of foreign buyers in recent years are from China, which surpasses Canada as the top country by dollar volume and total sales, according to Hale.


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