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Foreign investment in U.S. real estate hits record high of $7.48 billion

By Mike Wheatley | January 26, 2018

Foreign investment into the U.S. luxury residential real estate market has jumped to a new record high of $7.48 billion, with Miami, Manhattan and Los Angeles proving to be the most attractive locations, according to a report by Beauchamp Estates, in association with Leslie J Garfield & Co.

The U.S. Ultra Prime Real Estate report notes that in the 12 months leading up to March 2017, non-resident foreign sales in the U.S. for property priced over $1 million reached a total of $7.48 billion, a 72 percent increase from one year before. Of these transactions, 44 percent were all-cash purchases.

The report also shows that for premium residential real estate priced above $2,700 per sq.ft, the key locations in the U.S. for foreign buyers are Miami, New York and Los Angeles.

“Despite the vast geographical size of the United States, data from the NAR shows that almost 40 percent of overseas buyer transactions are made in just three U.S. locations – Miami/Florida (26%), Los Angeles/California (9%) and Manhattan (3%) - and for ultra-prime property these three locations are the U.S. destinations of choice for the world’s wealthy," said Gary Hersham, managing director at Beauchamp Estates.

The report also cites data from the National Association of Realtors that shows the origin of these investments. Five countries in particular dominate overseas investment in U.S. real estate, namely Canada, China, India, Mexico and the U.K.

Another interesting finding is that Miami's property market is now totally dominated by international buyers and occupiers, with just 20 percent of the market being attributed to domestic U.S. buyers. The average $ per sqft price for luxury Miami residential property is now $2,749 with overseas buyers typically buying a 13,107 sqft luxury residence with the most popular addresses being Miami Beach, Palm Beach and North Bay Road. Island locations such as Fisher Island and Bay Point are popular with overseas buyers because of the privacy and security they provide the report adds.

The report highlights that the most sought after ultra—prime homes in Miami are either gated or secure developments on the waterfront. With trends leading towards towers, such as Missoni Baia developed by real estate magnate Vladislav Doronin with his Miami-based firm, OKO Group, or private villas providing up to 6 bedrooms set on 0.83 acres of land, complete with a yacht mooring.

The key sources of overseas demand for luxury Miami real estate are from South American and Continental European buyers led by investors from Venezuela, Brazil and Columbia for the former and purchasers from France, Italy and Belgium for the latter.

“Miami is a leading hub for overseas buyers investing in U.S. luxury real estate. Alongside the beach, restaurants/bars, leisure facilities and all year good weather, the City has become a leading financial and tech business hub," Hersham said. "Around 95 percent of ultra-prime real estate in Miami purchased is done via cash transactions. Miami is extremely popular with high-net-worth buyers from South America – Colombians, Brazilians and Argentinians – with other key overseas buyers being the British and investors from the Philippines.”

The report says that Manhattan is the next key hub for overseas purchasers buying U.S. luxury residential real estate. For luxury Manhattan property, 27 percent of buyers are from overseas, whilst 63 percent are domestic. The overseas buyers are truly international with key groups being Chinese, British, French and German buyers.

Overseas buyers of luxury property in Manhattan will now pay an average of $3,618 per sq.ft and typically purchase a 9,509 sq.ft property – either a family townhouse to use as a New York home or a large lateral duplex or penthouse providing a pied-a-terre and also a base for children studying in Manhattan.

Meanwhile, Los Angeles is the third most popular U.S. destination for overseas buyers with 20 percent of the housing market now comprising overseas households, with the balance consisting of domestic residents.

Overseas buyers of luxury property in Los Angeles now pay an average of $2,901 per sq.ft buying an 11,211 sq.ft mansion or large house in Beverly Hills, Hollywood Hills West, Pacific Coast Highway or Malibu. The typical ultra-luxury Los Angeles property provides six bedrooms, has a separate staff wing and is set in 2.55 acres of private gardens. Key overseas buyer groups in Los Angeles are from the Middle East (Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Israel), China, the UK, France and Italy.

Mike Wheatley is the senior editor at Realty Biz News. Got a real estate related news article you wish to share, contact Mike at [email protected].
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