Chinese buyers topped Canadians to rank as the biggest foreign purchasers of U.S. homes by both sales and dollar volume, accounting for more than a quarter of all international spending.
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Buyers from China spent US$28.6 billion on U.S. homes and made up 16 per cent of transactions by foreigners in the 12 months through March, according to an annual report released Wednesday by the National Association of Realtors. Canadians, which had led international purchases since 2008, ranked second with US$11.2 billion in spending and a 14 per cent share of sales.
Homebuyers from China have flooded into the American market in recent years amid growing affluence by residents of the world’s most populous nation, where the U.S. is viewed as a safe haven for wealth. They’re typically buying more expensive properties, with an average purchase price of US$831,800, compared with US$499,600 for all international buyers.
“You look at the numbers and realize China is an expanding economy,” said Jed Smith, managing director of quantitative research for the Realtors group. “While the Canadian economy is expanding, it’s going to be smaller relative to China. I think we’ll see more Chinese buying in the future.”
Indians ranked as the third-biggest group of foreign buyers, at US$7.9 billion, followed by Mexicans with US$4.9 billion and Britons at US$3.8 billion, according to the report. The survey groups buyers from Hong Kong and Taiwan with those from mainland China.
“We would expect that this would be an entirely unsatisfactory remedy for mortgagors who paid the initial insurance premiums on High LTV mortgage loans,” Feldman writes. “Eliminating the potential for this type of situation could have been easily accomplished by limiting the Regulatory Amendments to portfolio insured Low LTV loans.”