Contributed by Pat Pitocchi, Director of Corporate Training
Where are the international real estate buyers? The pandemic changed real estate sales in 2020, and sales of U.S. homes to foreign buyers fell by 31% from April 2020 to March 2021, according to the National Association of Realtors. At just 107,000 properties purchased by international buyers in Florida, it was the lowest unit volume and lowest dollar volume since 2011.
How are they finding homes? Technology for virtual tours has exploded out of necessity, which especially benefits international buyers. As virtual options increase, buyers and sellers are becoming more comfortable with conducting international real estate transactions long-distance.
So, will the international buyers be returning? The short answer is yes, we can be assured they will return. International buyers may be looking for investments, or vacation homes, or to buy homes for their children attending American universities and colleges. China, Canada, India, Mexico and the United Kingdom were the top five countries in sales dollar volume for U.S. residential properties. And although pandemic travel restrictions kept buyers away in 2020, the fact remains that real estate in the US, even in higher priced markets like California and Florida, is a good investment for international buyers as it is more affordable than properties in places like London or Tokyo.