– 9 trends impacting where foreign homebuyers park their money

According to FIABCI’s latest research, here are nine current trends:

 1. Until recently, international clients wanted “exurban” properties. Today they want urban properties where they can live and work in the same place. Energy-efficient “green” properties are highly desirable.
People from the Middle East negotiate more aggressively than many other cultures. In Asia, it’s more of a fun cat-and-mouse game that can go on endlessly.”

2. Five years ago, Asians were parking their money in Asia. Today, they have shifted to moving their investment dollars to the U.S.

3. Canada is still the No. 1 source of international U.S. investment.

4. The Canadian government recently closed down its equivalent of the U.S. EB-5 visa program. (The U.S. EB-5 visa program allows visas to be issued to those who invest at least $500,000 in the U.S. and use that money to create or preserve at least 10 American jobs.) Canada’s decision drastically reduced Chinese investment in Canada and has driven more U.S. investment by the Chinese.

5. High tax rates in France and the relative weakness of the euro are driving European investment outside of Europe.

6. Instability in other nations is also driving U.S. investment. Ukrainians are purchasing in Florida, Atlanta, Houston and Jacksonville. Brazilians and Venezuelans are driving the Miami economic recovery as Venezuela undergoes a systematic collapse. Puerto Ricans are exiting Puerto Rico and virtually no one is returning.

7. The current Arab influx in the investment market is huge. People from the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Jordan and Lebanon tend to purchase multi-unit buildings of between six and 12 units. They normally don’t purchase hotels and restaurants because of Sharia law prohibiting alcohol sales.

8. Getting money legally into the U.S. continues to be a major issue.

9. Middle Eastern clients tend to prefer more ostentatious properties, while Asians normally prefer new, with top-of-the-line quality.

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