From our Coldwell Banker desk:
2015 was another very strong year for foreign investment in U.S. real estate, especially here in the Bay Area and particularly from Asian buyers.
The dollar volume of all foreign investment in the U.S. reached $104 billion for the 12 months ended March 2015, up 13 percent from the same period a year ago, according to the National Association of REALTORS®. More than half of that investment went to California and three other states – Florida, Arizona and Texas.
No one knows for sure exactly how much foreign investment there is in the Bay Area housing market, but anecdotal evidence from our agents and managers in the field tell me it is substantial. And it's probably not surprising, considering the fact that the Bay Area has long been one of the most sought after housing markets for Chinese investors and other offshore buyers.
International investors are attracted by the strength of our local economy, particularly the tech sector in Silicon Valley. They also favor the stability of the U.S. political and financial systems, our strong schools and world-class universities like Stanford and Cal, solid appreciation on homes in the Bay Area, and the relatively affordable prices - yes "affordable" - compared to many other major cities around the world.
If you have any doubt about just how fast Chinese and other Asian investment is growing in the U.S., consider a recent NAR study that found Chinese buyers were the number one international investors in U.S. real estate over the past year with $28.6 billion in sales volume, nearly three times the number two country, Canada. As recently as six years ago, Canadian investment in the U.S. market was more than double China's, which also ranked behind India and the U.K. and was at the same level as Mexico.
In recent years, Coldwell Banker has deployed a very targeted marketing program to reach Asian consumers in a variety of media outlets, both print and digital. We are reaching out to buyers and marketing properties on many of the biggest Asian websites and publications. In addition, our strong international network of offices and agents – the most of any U.S. brokerage – has helped us attract more offshore buyers. Given the interest in the Bay Area housing market from Asian investors and others overseas, I don't see that trend changing anytime soon.
Thank you for reading!