A 2018 analysis by the U.S Ultra Prime Real Estate report reveals that the U.S. luxury residential market reached a new record with $7.48 billion in sales from foreign investors. For the year leading to March 2017 non-resident sales by overseas buyers were most notably in Miami, Manhattan and Los Angeles with sales of prime residences in the price range of $1 million and above. This total was a 72% increase over the previous year with 44% of the transactions being all-cash purchases.
Gary Hersham, managing director at Beauchamp Estates says in Realty Biz News:
“Despite the vast geographical size of the United States, data from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) shows that almost 40 percent of overseas buyer transactions are made in just three U.S. locations – Miami/Florida (26%), Los Angeles/California (9%) and Manhattan (3%) – and for ultra-prime property these three locations are the U.S. destinations of choice for the world’s wealthy,”
The NAR reports that the countries dominating the foreign investment of American luxury properties include Canada, China, India, Mexico and the U.K.
The report found that the luxury residential sector of Miami was heavily dominated by overseas buyers with only 20% being from the United States. The average square foot price has reached $2,749 with the average buyer purchasing homes in the 13,017 square foot range in the residential locations of Miami Beach, Palm Beach and North Bay Road.
For security and privacy the locations of Fisher Island and Bay Point have become attractive.
The NAR states:
“… the most sought after ultra—prime homes in Miami are either gated or secure developments on the waterfront. With trends leading towards towers, such as Missoni Baia developed by real estate magnate Vladislav Doronin with his Miami-based firm, OKO Group, or private villas providing up to 6 bedrooms set on 0.83 acres of land, complete with a yacht mooring.”
South American buyers were mainly from Venezuela, Brazil and Colombia along with European residents from Belgium, France and Italy.
“Miami is a leading hub for overseas buyers investing in U.S. luxury real estate. Alongside the
beach, restaurants/bars, leisure facilities and all year good weather, the City has become a
leading financial and tech business hub.”
“Around 95 percent of ultra-prime real estate in Miami purchased is done via cash transactions. Miami is extremely popular with high-networth buyers from South America – Colombians,
Brazilians and Argentinians – with other key overseas buyers being the British and investors from the Philippines.”
The next key location for foreign buyers is New York City mainly in Manhattan. Luxury home buyers from oversea accounted for 27% of the transactions with 63% of the buyers being domestic.
Key overseas buyers were mostly from Britain, China, France and Germany with average per square foot values of $3,618 and property sizes of an average of 9,509 square feet. Most popular are townhouses, large lateral duplexes and penthouses used not just for homes but also for the children of buyers attending school in the city.
The Golden state of California continues to have its share of foreign luxury home buyers as Los Angeles comes in third as the most popular destination. The local market now has 20% of residential households in the luxury sector owned buy foreign buyers and the remaining property sales by U.S. residents.
The average size of the luxury residences are 11,211 square feet with the cost per square foot averaging $2,901 with ultra-luxury homes having at least six bedrooms, a separate staff wing and 2.55 acres for private gardens.
The key buyers for Los Angeles include China, France, Italy and the Middle Eastern nations Israel, Qatar and Saudi Arabia.
The luxury market has caught the attention of younger buyers particularly in the age group of 25 to 49.
Mary Macpherson estate agent for the Paragon Group in San Francisco told the Observer of the younger buyers:
“…they know what they want. They’re doing research beforehand and are surprisingly educated about real estate.”
“…54 percent of these buyers are looking for urban living.”
Even with the cost and lack of housing inventory in San Francisco the luxury sector sales continue to grow:
“…this new crop of buyers is looking for fully connected and wired, turnkey properties with zero flaws.”
“They’re starting to appreciate more of the architecture here too, but still want all the bells and whistles.”
By Kevin Murphy: www.kevinmurphy.london