According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), Asian buyers are showing their interest in the U.S. housing market in record numbers. For the 12 months that ended March 31, 2013, Asian buyers accounted for 18% of the $68.2 billion that foreigners pumped into the U.S. real estate market.
As the U.S. economy has moved out of a recession state but domestic capital is still difficult to obtain, many Asian investors have started to invest in U.S. markets. Currently, they’re spending about $425,000 on average for U.S. homes versus $276,000 for other nationalities. And most of their deals are done in all cash.
Asian investors have found that the dollar’s weakness has been their advantage since the recession began. Nowhere in the U.S. has the influx of Asian home buyers been felt as strongly as in California. Many of these buyers spend less than half of the year in the states. They are either wealthy tycoons, or have children attending local colleges and have invested in homes to use when they visit or as a place for their children to live while attending school.
Many Asian buyers are taking advantage of the U.S. government’s EB-5 Immigrant Investor program, which some consider a fast-track to obtaining their green card. To qualify, foreigners must invest at least $500,000 in a business that provides or preserves 10 jobs.