Chinese buyers lead foreign investment in the US

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Australia is far from being the only country being targeted by Chinese investors, with buyers from the Asian superpower leading the way when it comes to foreign investment in the United States.

Figures from a National Association of Realtors (NAR) report, 2015 Profile of Home Buying Activity of International Clients, show that Chinese investors purchased US$28.6 billion worth of property in the United States from April 2014 – March 2015.

Chinese buyers far outstripped other international investors in the US over the period, Canadian buyers were the next biggest foreign investors in the US market with US$11.2 billion worth of purchases, followed by
India with US$7.9 billion, Mexico with US$4.9 billion and the U.K. with US$3.8 billion.

Chinese buyers also topped their US and international counterparts when it came to the value of properties purchased.

For the period from April 2014 – March 2015, the average purchase price of a house in the US was $255,600, across the properties bought by international investors the average purchase price was $499,600,
while Chinese investors bought properties at an average price of $831,800.

"In 2014, sales transaction to buyers outside of the U.S. dropped 10%, possibly due to the strengthening of the U.S. dollar in relation to international currencies and weakening foreign economies," NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun said.

“However, the amount of money spent has increased; this means international purchasers in the U.S. have become an upscale group of buyers, spending more money on fewer homes."

Four of the US’ 50 states accounted for more than half of the sales to international buyers, Florida remained the top destination for international buyers, claiming a 21% share of all foreign purchases; California
comes in second with a 16% share, Texas with 8% and Arizona with 5%.

With many foreign buyers finding it hard to obtain mortgage finance in the US, the NAR report also showed that 55% of purchases made by foreign buyers were cash purchases, compared to 25% for American buyers. 

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