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Texas real estate market rakes in billions from international buyers

Texas real estate market rakes in billions from international buyers

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Only Florida and California have more international buyers than Texas. Photo courtesy of Dave Perry-Miller

Lone Star properties are hot commodities for buyers across the globe. The 2016 Texas International Homebuyers report, released earlier this month by the Texas Association of Realtors, says that international homebuyers pumped more than $10 billion into the Texas economy from April 2015 to March 2016.

More than 21,000 Texas homes were sold to international buyers during that time. For comparison, only 16,720 Texas homes were sold to international buyers the previous year, for a total of $8.32 billion. 

"Over the last several years, Texas has become increasingly popular among international homebuyers from all parts of the globe for relocations, investment properties, and vacation homes," says Leslie Rouda Smith, chairman of the Texas Association of Realtors, in a release.

Texas accounted for 10 percent of international home sales in the U.S. Only Florida and California had more foreign buyers, at 22 percent and 15 percent, respectively.

And where are these buyers from? In Texas, 36 percent were from Latin America, 34 percent were from Asia/Oceana, and 12 percent were from Europe. Texas led the U.S. in home purchases from India — 1-in-5 — and maintained the largest percentage of homebuyers from Mexico, 35 percent.

Texas continues to be a hub for migration, notes the report, housing 9 percent of those who immigrated to the U.S. in 2014. "Texas is now home to the second-largest foreign-born population size in the nation and has the seventh-highest percentage of foreign-born residents compared to statewide population," Smith says.

Six Texas metro areas rank among the top 50 in America for immigration. Houston leads the way at No. 5, followed by Dallas-Fort Worth, No. 8; Austin-Round Rock, No. 26; San Antonio-New Braunfels, No. 28; El Paso, No. 32; and McAllen, No. 44.