Chinese Dominate as Buyers of U.S. Real Estate

June 19, 2015

Chinese buyers have surpassed Canadians as the most dominant foreign home purchasers in the United States, according to the National Association of REALTORS®' 2015 Profile of Home Buying Activity of International Clients, released this week.

Home buyers from China comprised 16 percent of international buyers who purchased single-family homes and condos in the 12-month period ending in March, up from 12 percent in 2013. On the other hand, Canadians comprised 14 percent of international buyers, down from 23 percent in 2013, NAR reports.

For several years, Canadians have been the biggest foreign buyers of U.S. homes. But Canadian sales have fallen, partially due to the weak Canadian currency, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Chinese buyers aren't just buying more properties, they're also spending more than other international buyers too. Chinese buyers purchased $28.6 billion of U.S. properties in the 12-month period ending in March compared to $11.2 billion of properties purchased by Canadians, NAR’s report shows.

Overall, international buyers, which make up only 4 percent of existing home sales, spent on average $499,600 on a property last year -- compared to the average U.S. home price of $255,600. Chinese buyers spent the most on their U.S. home purchases, averaging $831,800. The average price of home purchased by Canadians was $380,300.

The increase in Chinese buyers reflects a growing view from the Chinese who view American real estate as a relative safe haven, where rules surrounding owning property are well defined and the economy is viewed as strong and stable, Jed Smith, NAR's managing director of quantitative research, told The Wall Street Journal.

Source: "Chinese Buyers Replace Canadians as Top Foreign Buyers of U.S. Homes," The Wall Street Journal (June 17, 2015)