A new survey shows that while London was one for foreign investors, the rest of the top five cities were all in the USA. The survey said the U.S. is the “stable and secure” country for real-estate investment “by a wide margin.” The U.S. is also the top market when it comes to capital appreciation and for future real-estate purchases.
The business of buying-and-renting houses, long dominated by local mom-and-pop investors, has morphed over the past two years into one of the hottest investments on Wall Street. Dozens of pension investors and private-equity firms, such as Blackstone Group LP and Colony Capital LLC, are clamoring to buy homes in beaten-up markets, sometimes using money from foreign co-investors… “We are buying the houses up, and I’d say unashamedly at very, very cheap prices, but I don’t see much of us crowding out other home buyers,” said Mr. Dixon of US Masters…
A jump in sales of previously occupied homes and further gains in home construction suggest the U.S. housing recovery is gaining momentum… “The U.S. housing recovery is for real,” said Sal Guatieri, an economist at BMO Capital Markets, in a note to clients. “Great affordability, pent-up demand and strong investor interest in rental units are driving the market.”… New-home sales are up, builder confidence is at its highest level in more than six years and increases in home prices appear to be sustainable… “Housing is clearly in recovery mode,” Sullivan said.
To be sure, the real-estate market hasn’t come close to recovering from its worst slump in modern times. Sales of new and pre-owned homes and construction on new units are still far below the historical norm. Yet like the turtle in the tale of The Tortoise and the Hare, the market continues to inch forward.
Flush with cash and keen to diversify their portfolio, Indians are busy snapping up property in the US. And they are not Indian-Americans, but desis from Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore and Hyderabad, who are picking up single-family homes and condos as vacation homes or just investment.
A survey released Monday showed that the six-year slide in U.S. housing prices, coupled with the rising value of some foreign currencies and continued instability in Europe, is fueling a property-buying binge in the U.S. by wealthy foreigners… Some foreigners buyers view U.S. real estate as a safe place to park cash amid fears of a property bubble or political instability at home. Others are buying as a hedge against inflation because real assets like property tend to hold their value better than other investments during periods of high inflation. At a time when most securities have low yields, some investors believe they can earn higher returns by buying U.S. real estate and holding it as a rental investment or reselling in a few years at a profit.
Rohit Prakash, based in Austin, Texas, has for long been doing brisk business helping Americans and foreigners buy and sell property in the capital of one of America’s biggest states.
Recently, he set up American Full House to cater to Indians looking to buy homes in locations that have seen a huge price drop. An Indian buyer who contacted him sometime ago is close to doing two deals in a suburb of Los Angeles at $82,000 and $85,000 each for a three-bedroom condominium. At the peak of the housing boom, these properties were selling at close to $250,000.
Indian buyers are mostly exploring cities such as Los Angeles, Las Vegas and other parts of southern California and Phoenix, and Miami, where prices are still 60% lower than the peak.
Prakash of American Full House points out that rentals in most American markets are still high as people who have foreclosed their homes are looking to rent out property. “One could easily get a return of 6-10% in many markets here,” he says.
A spokesperson of the National Association of Realtors attributed the international appetite to the fact that properties in the US are less expensive compared with foreign properties. Homes in the US are viewed as a secure investment. The average price paid by an international buyer in the US was $315,000 and the states with the heaviest concentration of such buyers are Texas, Florida, California and Arizona. With more and more Indians likely to join the rush, the list is only likely to expand.
When the real estate market collapsed five years ago, this city’s downtown soon became an emblem of the worst excesses of the building boom. Glittering new towers sat mostly vacant.
Those towers are filling up much sooner than some analysts predicted. The new arrivals, mostly renters, are spurring the establishment of restaurants, bars and shops.
Condo sales here began surging after property owners slashed prices about two years ago, sometimes by 50% or more. … Fewer than 4,000 out of the 22,000 new units built since 2003 remain unsold, according to Condo Vultures.