The National Association of Realtors has published its latest survey profiling foreign buyers of U.S. real estate, and the latest data is remarkable for a number of reasons. Not surprisingly, China is still the largest source of foreign investment into U.S. homes and property. Something also worth noting is the decline of to total investment dollars reaching its way into the United States. It appears that the latest global central-bank-sponsored asset bubble may be finally popping once again. This will be a particular cause for concern for those wealthy property owners who have bought into the latest bubble frenzy, as some major U.S. real estate markets are already showing strains at the margin. But before you get too concerned about these mostly wealthy buyers, remember that many of them are paying with cash!
A few other interesting tidbits about the average foreign buyer in 2016 include:
Total dollar volume of foreign purchases declined from $103.9 billion to $102.6 billion
The number of properties purchased increased from 208,900 to 214,900.
The average purchase price for a foreign buyer was $477,500, down from $499,600 last year.
Chinese buyers purchased $27.3 billion in U.S. residential property, more than any other country, and more than a quarter of all foreign investment.
50 percent of reported foreign buyer transactions were all cash.
For those who may be interested in international money laundering activities, the continued capital outflows from China are rather impressive, as noted in the chart above. Even though Chinese buyers purchased fewer homes during the last year, the average price continued to rise sharply. One has to wonder if there isn’t a great deal of money laundering taking place here considering that Chinese officials have supposedly taken efforts to stem capital outflows. For now at least, it appears Chinese cash is still heading for the exits and finding its way into U.S. homes.