When the bubble burst on the U.S. Housing Market in 2007, foreign buyers hopped into the market in hopes of making a pretty penny. From that point on, it was argued that foreign buyers would play a major role in the U.S. Housing recovery.
However, the National Association of Realtors’ latest report on international home buying activity shows that this isn’t in fact the case. Citing their data Paul Diggle at Capital Economics writes:
“The survey covers the 12 months ending in March 2013, during which time foreigners not permanently resident in the US bought $34.8bn of residential property in the country, accounting for 3.2% of all transactions. That’s down from 4.4% in 2012 and a recent high of 4.6% in 2010.
“Moreover, this decline isn’t simply a function of greater activity in the market as a whole. The value of foreign transactions fell outright too, by 16% from $41.2bn in 2012. So why are foreign buyers proving peripheral to the housing recovery?”
There is an answer to Mr. Diggle’s question. Rising home prices, along with weakening currencies and a slowdown in many of their economies, has curbed major purchases on their part.
“Since the start of 2011, however, currency movements have compounded house price gains to make US housing look more expensive for buyers from most of these countries. Over that period, the dollar has strengthened by 3% against the Mexican peso, 4% against the British pound and the Canadian dollar, 5% against the euro and 23% against the Indian rupee.”