Are foreign investors driving up California Real Estate?

According to the California Association of Realtors, about 10 % of California single family homes in 2006 were purchased in all-cash transactions.  A decade later, it’s nearly 25%.   Many of these buyers are domestic buyers and some simply prefer California real estate to the stock market.

They estimated that 3% of last year’s purchases went to international buyers.  Their data even suggests the share of international buyers has been on a downward trajectory since 2008, but that could be undercounting due to the way the surveys are taken.

“For one thing, the survey is conducted in English,” said Oscar Wei, senior economist for the California Association of Realtors. “So if you have Chinese buyers and Chinese agents, they may not necessarily want to participate in a survey written in English.”

Wei also acknowledges that Realtors may not always know the citizenship status of their clients and that the timing of the survey could bias the overall results towards domestic buyers.

His rough estimate: 5 to 10 percent of the state’s single-family housing stock could be owned by international buyers.

So can we conclude anything reliable about foreign buyers?

We do have a decent grasp on where they’re coming from.

The fear of Chinese millionaires gobbling up American homes as just another piece in their global investment portfolio can veer into the cartoonish and xenophobic very quickly. As recently as 2014, Canadians purchased more U.S. homes than Chinese buyers, according to the National Realtors Association. And while Canadians are actually more likely to make all-cash offers, they receive nowhere near the scrutiny as the Chinese.

In California, however, Asian buyers do dominate: Last year they accounted for 71 percent of California homes sold to foreign buyers. That dwarfs the next closest group of international buyers, Latin Americans at 14 percent.

 

Commercial Trends, where are they headed?

We offer listings throughout California for sale or tax deferred exchanges.

Medical

  • By 2030, the 65+ population will rise by more than 20 million people and comprise over 20 percent of the U.S. population. Demand for medical providers will increase.
  • Millennials primarily rely on retail clinics, urgent care centers, and free-standing emergency rooms for their healthcare options.
  • Underserved rural populations are gaining better medical care through telehealth services.
  • Healthcare providers continue to push into communities by leasing space outside of traditional hospital campuses. Micro hospitals also are an emerging trend, especially for underserved populations.

Multi-Family

Consistent good performance is the mantra of the multifamily sector for 2018. Yardi Matrix predicts multifamily will continue its long run, buoyed by the strong economy and job growth; the shift to renting property by many baby boomers; and the continued support by millennials.

Most Markets Near Peak; No Signs of Bubble

Home prices in most U.S. housing markets are reaching their peak, but there’s no need to fear a repeat housing bust, according to a new joint analysis by Florida Atlantic University and Florida International University. Throughout the majority of the country, home prices have been rising steadily since 2012, and there are signs the runup may be starting to slow.

“Housing markets are slowing, suggesting that we are nearing a peak in housing markets around the U.S.,” says Ken Johnson, a real estate economist at Florida Atlantic University. “But this is good news, as we are pulling back from the brink, unlike we did in 2007.”

Researchers at the universities created the Beracha, Hardin & Johnson Buy vs. Rent Index, which shows that out of 23 metros areas studied, 13 are slightly to moderately in “buy” territory. That means owning a home is more favorable than renting for the majority of residents in that area. On the other hand, 10 metro areas were slightly to moderately in “rent” territory.

“Our data indicates that prices are above their 40-year trend but not significantly so, as they were in 2007,” says Eli Beracha, co-creator of the index and associate professor in the Hollo School of Real Estate at FIU. “Rather than a crash, I anticipate slower growth in prices accompanied by longer marketing times for sellers and increasing inventories, which should bring prices back in conjunction with their 40-year trend.”

Who are the buyers ?

The Millennials or Gen Y (24-38) held a market share of 36% over the past year. Gen Xers (39-53) ranked second at 26% f0llowed by the Baby Boomers with 32%.  While Millennials held a majority of the share in the home buying market, low levels of housing inventory and higher home prices held back many potential buyers.  Over the past year, the typical Millennial home buyer had a higher household income at $88,200 compared to last year of $82,000 and purchased the same size home 1800 square feet.  The market has also seen an expected increase in multi-generational homes as more adult children opted to live at home with their Gen X or Baby Boomer parents.

 

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