The allure of finding US real estate bargains for foreigners is particularly strong for Australians right now.
Aussies are armed with a strong dollar (the currency surpassed the US dollar in October 2010 for the first time since 1982) and are excited by the fact that in the US the average home costs 62 per cent less than its local equivalent and returns can reach 20% which is unheard of in Australia. Furthermore, Morgan Stanley estimates about 6.5 million US homes face repossession, on top of the 2.5 million that have been seized since 2005.
As stated by Bloomberg, more Americans will be renting as US foreclosures climb and home-ownership – at a 10-year low of 66.9% in the third quarter of 2010 – continues to drop, driven by near-10% unemployment and the end of a government tax credit for home buyers, which can translate into attractive returns for investors. In contrast, Australia’s housing market is about 40% overvalued (some estimates, such as those by the Economist, place it over 50%) and 70% of landlords make losses on their rental properties.
The median US home price has declined 26 per cent since a June 2007 peak to $US170,500 ($171,000), according to data from Washington- based National Association of Realtors. The average house in Australia’s eight capital cities cost $460,000 in the September quarter, according to RP Data, a Brisbane-based property researcher.
While Australians and New Zealanders purchasing in the US last year amounted to just $400 million USD (1% of non-US purchasers), compared to the British, Mexicans and Canadians who purchased 42% of non-US property purchases ($41 billion USD), the appeal is certainly growing for Antipodeans. Arizona, California, Florida and Texas accounted for 53% of US homes bought by foreign buyers, according to NAR.
As with any investment, there are no guarantees and as always we suggest do your homework. It is rare to find a deal that is too good to be true and simply buying a cheap property does not assure you certain wealth. Bargain prices can frequently hide the debt that may come with the property, and a great many more dollars may be required to bring it up to code and livable. Plus there are always agent and legal fees, so we suggest that you look with your eyes open!
To see all the properties in the US the Marquette Turner currently has for sale, ranging from approximately $300,000 to many millions, CLICK HERE.
Alternatively, to select the country that you may be interested in purchasing property CLICK HERE.