As every Boca Raton home seller and home buyer is currently aware, the housing market is extremely tight. And one of the reasons for the lack of Boca Raton home inventory is because the whole world is shopping for Boca homes.
We have multiple buyers for almost every property under $400,000 and sufficient buyers to cover most properties up to the million-dollar range. If you’re selling or buying a luxury home in Boca in the multi-millions, that market has also improved dramatically.
International interest in U.S. real estate continues to grow
However it is not just Americans who are buying homes in our area. Instead, numerous foreign nationals from countries as diverse as Canada, Germany, France, Italy, Switzerland and China among others, are flocking to real estate websites and to properties all over the United States.
While American news media state that the real estate market may be bumping along in a various states of recovery, foreign investors find that the American business and economic climate is relatively stable compared to that of their own nations.
According to Realty Trac, international interest in United States residential properties has increased by 95% or more since 2009.
Where we see bubbles, other nations see stability
While local buyers are watching real estate prices rise and wondering if we may be heading for another bubble, international buyers are interested in catching this real estate on the way up. They see South Florida, along with most of the U.S., as a continuing investment in the nation that remains stable in an ever changing economic world.
As I mentioned in an earlier blog, Canada, our neighbor to the north is the largest buyer of properties in the area. That National Association of Realtors (NAR) suggested that Canadian buyers purchased close to 23% of properties sold last year to international buyers.
However it is not just common language that drives buyers to the area. The current real estate bubble in China has sent Chinese citizens to our shores in search of properties whose values are likely to remain as stable investments. Chinese government data recently cited a 5% decrease in the value of their buildings during the first 2 months 2014. In addition, sales of office buildings are off by 17.1%.
That may be why Chinese buyers accounted for 12% of international real estate purchases in the U.S. last year, according to the NAR.
In view of Italy’s economic fragility, is not surprising that investors from that nation are interested in homes here. The International Monetary Fund indicated that Italy can expect only a 0.6% increase in its economy this year and no more than 1.1% next year. This is even lower than the expected rate of growth in Greece, which was devastated by the recession.
It may come as a surprise that such economically advanced nations as Germany and Switzerland are also hot on the trail of American real estate.
Nasdaq says that Germany, Europe’s strongest economy, is expecting growth rates of 1.9% this year. Investors there see the U.S. as a good real estate value. For the Swiss, their Franc has increased by more than 25% against the dollar, which makes U.S. real estate even more of a bargain to them.
Buy that Boca home today. Or the rest of the world will buy it tomorrow.
So if you’re a homebuyer looking for a new home or a second home in Boca Raton or anywhere else in South Florida, do not be surprised if your Boca Raton real estate agent tells you that you need to make a rapid decision on the home you’re looking at.
Because if you don’t, there is a whole world of buyers right behind you waving their passports and checkbooks. They will happily purchase this Boca home and consider that the asking price is extremely reasonable, based on the cost of property in their own nations.
Marc Jablon, the Jablon Team
Re/Max Complete Solutions