Foreign Buyers Returning to U.S. Housing Market


The pandemic cut the number of foreign buyers traveling to the U.S., but the first wave is reappearing. A Miami condo has seen a 30% increase in Brazilian buyers.

NEW YORK – Real estate insiders say they’ve seen a resurgence in foreign buyers to the U.S. market after the pandemic made them virtually nonexistent.

Levels of international interest have reverted to near-pre-pandemic levels in the last three months alone, thanks to a lifting of COVID restrictions worldwide plus global political-economic shifts, notably the Russia-Ukraine war and Brazil’s turbulent presidential elections.

“It was the domestic buyer that led the recovery out of COVID,” said John Gomes of Douglas Elliman. “It is the foreign buyer that is leading the recovery this time around. It’s very, very apparent.”

Some developers in South Florida are seeing a spike in foreign interest: for example, developers of the Nexo Residences condo in North Miami Beach say they’ve seen a 30% gain in interest from Brazilian buyers since October 2022 amid the electoral turmoil.

The National Association of Realtors® estimates that the volume of international-buyer purchases across the U.S. was just $54.4 billion between April 2020 and March 2021, the lowest on record since 2009. But that rose to $59 billion between April 2021 and March 2022.

One reason for the recent uptick: Some foreign buyers view the U.S. real estate market’s current headwinds as an opening to acquire property at a more accessible cost.

Source: Wall Street Journal (03/02/23) Clarke, Katherine

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