Every year, the United State’s real estate market is becoming more culturally diverse. According to Alex Nowrasteh, immigration policy analyst from the Center for Global Liberty and Prosperity, stemming from immigration, the interest from foreigners alone will strengthen home sales activity and price. The National Association of Realtor’s (NAR) Danielle Hale, managing Director of housing research, was joined by Nowrasteh at the 2017 Realtors Legislative Meetings and Trade Expo to discuss the current and future impact foreign buyers have on the U.S. Housing Market.
According to Nowrasteh and the 2015 American Community Survey, of the roughly 321.4 million residents in the U.S., 278.1 million are native, and the remaining 43.3 million, made up of 20.7 million naturalized citizens and 22.6 million non-citizens, are foreign-born.
“Immigration affects rents and home prices far more than it affects the labor market,” said Nowrasteh. “An expected 1 percent increase in a city’s population produces a 1 percent uptick in rents, while an unexpected increase results in a 3.75 percent rise.”
In regards to studies conducted on immigration and housing, Nowrasteh explained most of the impact would be where immigrants tend to reside: low-to-middle income counties.
Referencing NAR’s 2016 Profile of International Activity in the U.S. residential real estate, Hale said foreigners view the U.S. as a great place to buy and invest in real estate.
“A majority of foreign buyers in recent years are coming from China, which surpassed Canada as the top country by dollar volume of sales in 2013 and total sales 2015,” said Hale. “Foreign buyers on average purchase more expensive homes than U.S. residents and are more likely to pay in cash.”
Hale foreshadowed where future sales activity from immigrants will take place explaining that roughly half of all foreign buyers purchased in Florida, California, Texas, Arizona, or New York.