Foreign buyers backing away from U.S. housing market

by Ryan Smith20 Jul 2015
In spite of home sales currently sitting at an 8-year high, foreign homebuyers appear to be backing away from the U.S. housing market.

According to CoreLogic chief economist Frank Nothaft, the number of U.S. homebuyers identifying as international dropped to 2% during the first four months of this year. That’s down from 2.5% a year ago – a decline of 19%. The drop comes in spite of a jump of 9% in U.S. home sales over the same period.
The drop is largely due to changes in exchange rates, which can have a significant effect on foreign purchases, Nothaft wrote.

According to Nothaft, from the beginning of 2014 through April of this year, the U.S. dollar appreciated 10% relative to the U.K. pound, 13% relative to the Canadian dollar and 26% relative to the Euro.

“Foreign buying could continue to decline, level off or increase in 2016, depending on the value of the U.S. dollar relative to most foreign currencies, but the uncertainties surrounding how the Eurozone will resolve the debt crisis in Greece has made it more difficult to project foreign currency movements,” Nothaft wrote.  


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