People from Mexico, China buying the most homes in Austin among foreign nationals


AUSTIN (KXAN) — Despite the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, people from outside the United States still bought plenty of homes in Austin.

The Austin Board of Realtors’ International Homebuyers Report showed from April 2020 to March 2021 that foreign-born buyers spent $634 million on homes in the Austin-Round Rock market.

International travel restrictions due to COVID-19 hampered buyers — the report showed such buyers spent $200 million less than the year prior — but Austin Board of Realtors President Susan Horton said they were still interested in vacation homes and investment opportunities.

“Over the last year, international buyers showed a preference for townhouses and condominiums for use as investment or vacation properties,” she said. “The bottom line is that Austin continues to attract people from all over the world, and we welcome them to our community whether they are looking to relocate or invest.”

Where are these international buyers coming from? Near and far, it turns out. Residents from Mexico and China make up 14% each of the international buyers’ pool, while Canada and India each accounted for 6% and Armenia accounted for 5%.

The Austin Board of Realtors worked with the National Association of Realtors to compile data and develop the report. Among the international buyers, the median home price was $428,100 and the $634 million sales volume represented 3% of all residential sales dollar value in the market, the report said.

The report also showed that a lot of people in the market are looking for property abroad. Of nearly 2,000 realtors surveyed in Central Texas, the report said, 64% of them said they were working with clients to find real estate out of the country. That far exceeds the national percentage of 11%.

Horton said as Austin becomes one of the country’s tech hubs, more foreign-born buyers will most likely follow.

“With the added job creation by major corporations such as Tesla, Amazon and Apple, Austin’s reputation as a global leader in tech innovation will only continue to grow,” she said. “The number of Central Texas realtors who specialize in international real estate is growing equally as rapidly, and it will be exciting to see Austin’s impact on the international housing market as the world begins to open up again.”

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