Interest rates are the lowest in remembered history, sales have outpaced inventory and lenders are easing restrictions on loans. While all of these things help the seller, now is not the time to assume that everything on the market will sale quickly. Now is the time to broaden the horizon.
NAR (National Association of Realtors®) is providing an avenue for advertising that many agents haven’t discovered.
The real estate market has gone global with the advancement in technology. NAR has provided its members access to a web site that reaches the global market. With relationship with 17 countries and over 80 real estate associations, every listing can be showcased to potential foreign investors. Every month, over 800,000 visitors search the inventory on the site. And, NAR has initiated a designation, CIPS (Certified International Real Estate Specialist) that is training Realtors® how to work with the international buyer and creating avenues to network with the international Realtor®.
Why is this important to the property seller in our area?
Foreign buyers and recent immigrants purchased 7 percent of the total U.S. residential market last year, paid a higher median price, and paid cash 55 percent of the time according to statistics reported in Global Perspectives in Real Estate, a resource for global professionals that outlines how members can globalize their local market.
Canadians accounted for 23 percent of all international buyers in 2010, up from 7 percent in 2007. A recent survey by the Bank of Montreal finds that one in five Canadians would consider buying a house or property in the U.S.
The decline in the value of the US dollar combined with the decrease in property values has heightened foreign interest in purchasing US properties.
is a lending institution that focuses on providing loans to the international market. Jessica Zamzow, a mortgage broker with the Bellevue office, has seen an increase this past year in the Seattle area especially from the Asian market. She believes that newer monies in China and Hong Kong have led to expanding their interest in the Pacific Rim. With easy access to the US, purchasers from Canada accounted for the second largest influx of buyers.
“The foreign investors are targeting areas with the highest access to quality education. I am seeing an increase of parents purchasing homes for adult children for use during their education process as well as young families looking to establish themselves in the US,” she said. She added that purchases covered a wide range of prices, many being all cash.
The Seattle King County Association is leading the way in developing a relationship with the Japanese market. Delegations have crossed the ocean in both directions trying to establish a continuity of requirements to make the buying process beneficial to both countries.
The growth of the international economy provides many opportunities for rental housing and first, second and commercial properties. Over the last 5 years, over half of NAR members reported participation in a transaction involving an international element. Since all indications point to this trend continuing, listing agents should explore all options in effectively advertising their properties.
Joan Probala is the managing broker for Issaquah Windermere (Windermere Real Estate/East Inc.). She has 30 years of experience in real estate, construction and sales. She is president-elect (2012) of the Seattle King County Association of Realtors.