San Diego has become a hotspot for international real estate investors. In the past year we’ve helped dozens of non-U.S. citizens grab great deals in the San Diego real estate market. Investors from Canada, China, Hong Kong, Japan, Dubai, South Africa, New Zealand, the U.K, and Europe are seizing the opportunity to buy San Diego homes at low prices. Statistics released in 2012 by Point2, consumer real estate portal, confirm that international buyers are looking to invest in California real estate.
International Investors Buy Homes In San Diego
Why San Diego real estate? It’s simple. When compared to other major cities around the world, San Diego real estate prices are shockingly low. San Diego homes are now more affordable than homes in Toronto, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Tokyo, and many other major cities around the world. Yet the San Diego weather is arguably the best in the world, the economy is very strong, and the quality of life is amazing. The city is clean, fun, relaxed, friendly, safe, and on the ocean. San Diego homes are in stark contrast to the hustle and bustle, bitter cold, scorching heat, and pollution that exist in other parts of the world.
International Real Estate Investments in the United States
According to Point2, California real estate is one of the top 4 U.S. states considered by international home buyers as measured by volume of online search traffic. International real estate investors concentrate on Florida, Arizona, Nevada, and California.
Canadians Buying U.S. Real Estate
Canadian real estate investment in the United States focuses on Arizona, Hawaii, Michigan, and California. Michigan’s proximity to Toronto explains that state’s big draw from California. And Hawaii is in its own world. So Canadian home buyers looking for warmer weather in the United States are now looking to Arizona and California first, and to Florida third. Many Canadians buy homes in San Diego.
There are no legal restrictions on purchases of U.S. real estate by international buyers. However, International purchases of real estate in the United States raise financing issues for some buyers. Home loans for non-U.S. residents are available, subject to special guidelines. A U.S. credit score is required for home loans from most U.S. banks, and many foreign buyers don’t have U.S. credit scores. When financing issues arise, there are solutions.
U.S. Home Loans for Non-U.S. Citizens
Home loans are available to for non-U.S. citizens looking to buy property in the United States. Morgan Stanley Smith Barney and several other firms offer asset-backed home loans to non-U.S. citizens. Financial advisers and private mortgage bankers at the major investment firms are great at working with non-U.S. home buyers to find financing solutions. Portfolio lenders such as BBVA Compass Bank offer home loans to Non-U.S. citizens looking to buy or refinance U.S. real estate. These portfolio lenders have greater flexibility because they don’t have to underwrite their loans to the rigid standards of secondary “investors” (banks). Of course, many international real estate investors are able to pay cash for their U.S. real estate investments, so home loans are not always an issue.
With San Diego real estate prices way down and interest rates at historic lows, international buyers are moving on the opportunity to buy homes in San Diego and throughout the United States. This is an important perspective that U.S. residents should keep in mind. When the international investors come out in force to buy real estate, it generally means that investment returns are on the horizon.
For more information about investing in San Diego real estate, call Geoffrey Schiering at (619) 200-7612.