Real Estate News & Updates from the Monadnock Region
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Saul Klein, e-PRO Real Estate Educator San Diego, CA

Jul 08, 2010

International Interest in U.S. Homeownership Increases, Realtors Report

WASHINGTON (July 7, 2010) – International home buyers are increasingly
attracted to property in the U.S., according to the National Association
of Realtors’ 2010 Profile of International Home Buying Activity.
Several factors, including the strength of the dollar, the value and
desirability of U.S. real estate, and the emerging economic recovery,
continue to drive international interest in owning a home in this
country.

“While all real estate in the U.S. is local, the same is not true for
property owners,” said NAR President Vicki Cox Golder, owner of Vicki L.
Cox Real Estate in Tucson, Ariz. “The U.S. continues to be a top
destination for international buyers from all over the world. Foreign
buyers understand the value of owning a home in this country and can
rely on Realtors® to help guide them through the complex process of
buying property in the U.S. With expertise, knowledge and experience,
Realtors® have a global perspective.”

The survey, released today, covers the period between April 1, 2009, and
March 31, 2010. During that time foreign buyers, including those with
residency outside the U.S. as well as recent immigrants and temporary
visa holders, are estimated to have purchased $66 billion of U.S.
residential property, or 7 percent of the residential market.

Slightly more than a quarter of Realtors®, 28 percent, reported working
with at least one international client in the past year. This is a
significant increase from the 2009 report, when 23 percent of Realtors®
worked with foreign clients. Eighteen percent of all Realtors® were
estimated to have completed at least one sale, compared to 12 percent
last year.

“Several factors have contributed to an increase in international buyer
interest in the U.S.,” said Golder. “A large majority of Realtors®
report the changes in value to the U.S. dollar have had a strong impact
on the international real estate business. In addition, perceptions
abroad about trends in the U.S. real estate market have led many
international clients to believe purchasing a home in the U.S. is more
affordable than in their country and holds more value.”

International buyers came from 53 different countries around the world.
The top four countries were Canada, Mexico, the U.K. and China/Hong
Kong. With 23 percent of international buyers coming from Canada, the
country has remained the largest buying group in the past three years.
Foreign buyers from Mexico have been steadily increasing. In 2010 Mexico
replaced the U.K. as the second largest buying group with 10 percent of
buyers. Buyers from the U.K. decreased from 10.5 percent in 2009 to nine
percent in 2010. Eight percent of recent buyers came from China/Hong
Kong.

Two factors important to international clients when purchasing property
in the U.S. are proximity to their home country and the convenience of
air transportation. Florida typically attracts European, Canadian and
South American buyers while the East Coast draws Europeans. The West
Coast brings Asian buyers and the Southwest attracts Mexicans.

International buyers were reported in 39 states in 2010, but a slight
majority of the total buyers are concentrated in Florida, California,
Arizona and Texas. These four states account for 53 percent of purchases
and have remained the top destinations for the past three years, with
Florida and California remaining the top two destinations.

The median price paid by international buyers for a home in the U.S. was
$219,400, a decrease from 2009′s median price of $247,100. However, the
median price paid by foreign buyers was significantly higher than the
overall median market price, which was $172,500 in 2009. On average,
foreign buyers tend to purchase closer to the upper end of the market;
16 percent of the total international purchases were for homes priced at
more than $500,000. According to Realtors®, this was because
international buyers are typically looking for a second home.

A majority of international buyers, 66 percent, purchased single-family
detached homes. However, more international buyers purchased a condo
than did their U.S. counterparts, at 23 percent and 7 percent,
respectively. Only 44 percent of international buyers used a mortgage to
pay for their home, compared to 92 percent of domestic buyers.
Fifty-five percent of foreign buyers paid all cash. Realtors® reported
that a majority of international buyers use all cash because of the
difficulty in establishing international credit in the U.S. Over
one-third, 34 percent, of potential foreign buyers was unable to
complete transactions because of financing problems in the U.S.

The National Association of Realtors®, “The Voice for Real Estate,” is
America’s largest trade association, representing 1.1 million members
involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate
industries.

….
Information about NAR is available at www.realtor.org. News releases are
posted in the Web site’s “News Media” section in the NAR Media
Center.

Most home buyers and sellers don’t realize it but all real estate agents are not REALTORS. The National Association of REALTORS is a professional association formed to establish Ethics and Standards of Practice for members. The Realtor Code of Ethics establishes obligations that may be higher than those mandated by law.

Every agent at R.H. Thackston & Company Realtors is a member and takes the following Realtor pledge:

“I pledge myself to protect the individual right of real estate ownership
and to widen the opportunity to enjoy it;
To be honorable and honest in all dealings;
To seek better to represent my clients by building my
knowledge and competence;
To act fairly towards all in the spirit of the Golden Rule;
To serve well my community, and through it my country;
To observe the REALTOR®’s Code of Ethics
and conform my conduct to its lofty ideals.”

If you or anyone you know is thinking of buying or selling a home now or in the future give a Realtor at R.H. Thackston & Company Realtors a call at 603.357.2121

Keene – R. H. Thackston & Company REALTORS has opened a new office in Keene, New Hampshire located at 149 Emerald Street in the Center at Keene Plaza.

The real estate company employs twenty-six agents in the new location. The agents employed in the new Keene location include agents that are licensed in New Hampshire, Vermont and Massachusetts. Many have broker’s licenses and include individuals who have obtained special recognition from the National Association of REALTORS including CRB, Certified Residential Broker, ABR, Accredited Buyer’s Representative, ABRM, Accredited Buyer’s Representative Manger and GRI, Graduate of the REALTOR Institute.

The company also operates offices in Winchester, New Hampshire and Bellows Falls, Vermont.

All the agents in Thackston new office are members of the National Association of REALTORS, New Hampshire Association of REALTORS and Monadnock Region Board of REALTORS.

Here’s a handy chart to help you out.

NAR Issue Brief

Homebuyer Tax Credit Changes

National Association of REALTORS® Government Affairs Division

500 New Jersey Avenue, NW, Washington DC, 20001

FEATURE Jan 1 – November 30, 2009Rules as enacted February 2009 December 1 – April 30,2010 Rules as enacted

November 2009

First timeBuyer –

Amount of Credit

$8000($4000 married

filing separate)

$8000($4000 married

filing separate)

First time Buyer – Definition for Eligibility May not have had an interest in a principal residence for 3 years prior to purchase Same
Current Homeowner – Amount of Credit No Provision $6500($3250 married

filing separate)

Effective Date – Current Owner No Provision Date of Enactment
Current Homeowner –Definition for Eligibility No Provision Must have used the home sold or being sold as a principal residence consecutively for 5 of the previous 8 years
Termination of Credit Purchases after November 30, 2009. (Becomes April 30, 2010 on Date of Enactment.) Purchases after April 30, 2010
Binding Contract Rule None So long as a written binding contract to purchase is in effect on April 30, 2010, the purchaser will have until July 1, 2010 to close.
Income Limits (Note: Increased income limits are effective as of date of enactment of bill) $75,000 – single$150,000 – married

Additional $20,000 phase out

$125,000 – single$225,000 – married

Additional $20,000 phase

out

Limitation on Cost of Purchased Home None $800,000Effective Date of Enactment
Purchase by a Dependent No Provision IneligibleEffective Date of Enactment
Antifraud Rule None Purchaser must attach documentation of purchase to tax return

 This chart is just another way Dick Thackston and the REALTORS at R.H. Thackston & Company REALTORS can help you. Dick works with the other 34 New Hampshire, Vermont & Massachusetts agents in his 3 offices helping buyers find and close on homes. To see all the homes on the market today in New Hampshire, Vermont & Massachusetts visit www.dickthackston.com or give him a call today at 603.283.0622.