By: Michael W. Brooks, Esq.
Purchases of US real estate by non-US (foreign) persons slowed considerably during the period of April 2018 to March 2019, per a recent report issued by the National Association of Realtors entitled “Profile of International Transactions in U.S. Residential Real Estate 2019”. This report generally reviewed residential real estate purchases only (not commercial purchases). Much of this international investment drop off was felt in California, which is currently the #2 state in the US in terms of international ownership of US real estate (only Florida annually has more international transactions per year). Foreign persons consist of both non-US citizens who live in the US full-time (such as of foreign workers working in the US on an H-1B Visa) and foreign persons who purchase US real estate but do not live in the US full-time (we see many of these purchases/ purchasers in the Palm Springs area, where most Canadian owners of Palm Springs real estate are still full-time residents of Canada, and we also see many of this type of purchaser just outside of Los Angeles, with the thousands of Chinese owners of real estate in the San Gabriel Valley and Irvine (Orange County) area (where a significant percentage (around 40%) of the Chinese owners remain residents of China (i.e., do not move to the US) while owning the US real estate)).
Foreign Purchases in US Real Estate Decline Generally in 2018-2019