Who is paying cash for their homes? 65% are International Buyers; Think Global

September 5, 2013
By Mary Schaefer, MORe Now Contributor
All cash-sales comprised 31 percent of all existing home sales transactions in July, up from 27 percent in July 2012.  Wonder who is making all these all cash sales? International homebuyers make up 65% of all those paying cash for their homes. Below is a chart that shows the make-up of all cash buyers for July.

Here are some things to consider in your upcoming marketing strategy for this year as you begin to think more about global homebuying opportunities. Get yourself educated!
1. Check out  REALTOR.com International where foreign buyers can search for homes in 36 countries and over 11 different languages? REALTOR.COM® International has real estate listings, rentals, homes and land for sale that you can access online with a click. The site captures close to one million unique international visitors each month. Check out the international map that is updated each month to see where international buyers are searching for property and what U.S. cities are most popular. Chicago is frequently listed on the map as a top area for where buyers are searching. Also watch this new video produced by NAR to learn about the vast resources available from NAR to help you with your global business strategey. Learn about the NAR Global Network and how you can turn your business more global.
2. Have you reviewed the 2013 National Association of REALTORS® Profile of International Home Buying Activity to learn more about the demographics of current international buyers in the U.S.? Total sales volume to international clients is estimated at $68.2 billion through March 2013, which is approximately 6.3 percent of the total U. S. Existing Home Sales market. This report is updated annually.
-- The median international home price was $275,862 and for domestic buyers it was $179,867.
-- Approximately 27% of REALTORS®  reported having worked with international clients in the past 12 months.        
-- Over a five year time frame, about 74% of REALTORS® reported a constant level or an increase in the number of international clients.
-- International buyers come from nearly all over the globe, but five countries accounted for 53% of transactions: Canada, China (People's Republic of China, Hong Kong, Taiwan), Mexico, India and the United Kingdom. China and Canada are the  fastest growing sources of international clients.

3. Want to learn more about reaching out to international homebuyers? Check out these resourceful sites:

-- The Mainstreet Organization of REALTORS MORe Global page: Here you can search for REALTORS® by language; obtain a field guide of global business etiquette and learn how you can get a jump start on your global business.

-- National Assocation of REALTORS® global business page

-- Illinois Association of REALTORS® global business page

-- National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals (See State of Hispanic homeownership and other studies and information related to Hispanic homeownership)

-- Asian Real Estate Association of American for facts and details on Asian American homebuying trends.

4. Start your global education today!. Homebuyers today are not just limited to the confines of the United States. There are numerous buyers from foreign countries looking to purchase property within the United States. In addition, new people move to the U.S. from other countries every day.  The Chicago metro area is a growing melting pot of ethnic groups. Chicago has the fifth largest foreign population in the Unites States. Stay on top of population trends within the Chicagoland area so you can learn who may be the potential buyers of tomorrow. Check out your city or county populationtrends.
5. Consider earning your CIPS Designation. A CIPS Designation can help prepare you to close international transactions. When you become a CIPS designee, you gain immediate access to business-enhancing products and exclusive services. There are approximately 2,000 CIPS designees around the world.  Learn more about:
-- Currency and exchange rate issues
-- Cross-cultural relationships
-- Regional market conditions
-- Investment performance
-- Tax issues
-- And more!
Your designation gives you access to exclusive information to help you turn your business more global.
6. Be sure to read the Global Perspectives in Real Estate. NAR's Global bimonthly newsletter filled with valuable information regarding global business development for REALTORS®. Today's investors are looking across borders when searching for investment property that meets their needs. The most recent issue of Global Perspective takes a look at some of the forces that drive money into international investments, including five major factors that motivate people to invest abroad and five major destinations for international money. The newsletter discusses EB-5 Visa program and five global hotspots in the most recent issue. The EB-5 visa is a powerful tool for attracting foreign-born entrepreneurs and investors who are looking for a fast path toward U.S. citizenship and the ability to live here on a conditional permanent basis.
Mark your calendar for the upcoming MORe International seminar on the EB-5 Visa Programon October 22nd.

 Who Is Paying Cash For Their Homes?

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