Texas, first place for foreign buyers

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The Lone Star State is a top destination for foreign buyers looking for residential properties in the booming United States real estate market.

International buyers bought $59 billion worth of homes from April 2021 to March 2022, ending a three-year decline, according to a report from the National Association of Realtors.

But as dollar volume surged, soaring prices and travel restrictions due to the coronavirus pandemic led to lower sales.

Foreign buyers – recent immigrants, visa holders and people living abroad – bought 98,600 homes nationwide, the fewest since 2009, when the trade group began tracking such transactions.

They accounted for 2.6% of the $2.3 trillion in sales during this period.

“Restrictions and general caution on international travel during the pandemic have slowed home buying by wealthier foreign buyers,” said NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun. “Even so, domestic demand for home purchases has been exceptional and, as a result, has boosted home sales nationwide.”

The median price paid by overseas buyers – $366,100 – was the highest recorded by the organization, which based its report on an online survey conducted from April 11 to May 9 of around 1,101 members with customers. international.

“Affordability issues along with the inability to find the right property were the top reasons given by potential international buyers who expressed interest but ultimately did not buy a home in the United States,” Yun said. .

About 11% of international buyers came from Canada, 8% from Mexico, 6% from China, 5% from India, 3% from Brazil and 3% from Colombia.

Florida was a hot spot, with 24% of purchases. California followed with 11%, Texas with 8%, Arizona with 7% and New York and North Carolina with 4% each.

Texas was the most attractive destination among Mexican buyers and second among Colombian buyers, according to the NAR.

Forty-four percent of overseas buyers paid in cash, and the same percentage bought homes to use for vacations or rentals. NAR data from 2011 to 2022 shows that the number of homes purchased by foreign buyers peaked in 2017 and has been steadily declining since.

Yun expects overall domestic sales to fall this year, while overseas buyers “are likely to step up their purchases as those bidding in cash will be sheltered from rate changes. of interest”.

International travel is also picking up, with more flights added and restrictions lifted, Yun said.

The Kimpton Hotel will open downtown

A 10-story boutique hotel located across from downtown Hemisfair will be the first property under the Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants flag in San Antonio.

White Lodging, an Indiana hotel development and management company, is building the hotel with 347 rooms, 10,000 square feet of meeting and event space, and a pool and lounge on the roof.

The Kimpton hotel chain is based in San Francisco and is owned by IHG Hotels & Resorts.

The Kimpton Hotel will be adjacent to the Marriott Plaza at 555 S. Alamo St., which White Lodging is currently renovating and plans to reopen in the first half of 2023 as The Otis Hotel San Antonio.

White Lodging also plans to rehabilitate buildings on the new hotel site that were once occupied by the German-English School, founded by German immigrants in 1858 to provide bilingual classical education.

These buildings will include a restaurant, hotel suites and a small bar next to a courtyard. The Kimpton Hotel is expected to open in late 2024.

“We look forward to expanding our footprint in the Lone Star State,” said Kimpton CEO Mike DeFrino. “Our hotels in Austin, Dallas and Fort Worth are performing incredibly well, and we believe San Antonio will complement our Texas portfolio well.”

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