Life in the USA
A star-spangled start to a new life, holiday home, or retirement?
It will probably come as no surprise to learn that the United States is one of the world’s most popular destinations for overseas-based property investors. From April 2016 to March 2017, foreign buyers purchased US$153 billion of residential property compared to US$102.6 billion during the previous 12-month period. Even 2016’s shock election of President Donald Trump has seemingly failed to halt the interest that overseas investors have in US-based property
Most US property experts still believe that Trump’s presidency is unlikely to have too much of an impact on the country’s appeal among overseas property investors, despite initial concerns. Of course, there will be many who swear blind they will not invest in the country while such a controversial figure remains at its helm, but there will be just as many who are lured to the country on the promise of potentially more affordable property prices.
This is particularly the case for Asian investors, for whom the weakening US Dollar has proved to be a real boon. National Association of Realtor (NAR) figures released in July 2017 show that China is comfortably the top country of origin for foreign buyers in the US, followed by Canada, the United Kingdom, Mexico, and India. While many experts believe that interest from Canadian and British purchasers may wane over the coming year or two, it is believed that this drop will be more than supplemented by a rise in interest from Asian investors.
Two things could halt the foreign-owned property invasion: Trump’s clampdown on immigration; and the looming trade wars. However, with the luxury housing market in America particularly dependent on foreign investors from all across the globe, it does seem unlikely that President Trump will want to rock the boat too much in this respect. He is a businessman, after all.
After a turbulent time in the wake of the global financial crash of the late noughties, the US housing market has slowly but surely recovered to levels close to those in 2007, pre-Lehman Brothers collapse.
November 2017 data released by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) revealed that existing-home sales surged for the third straight month in November and reached their strongest pace in almost 11 years. Average property values nationwide were up by 5.6 per cent in November 2017, compared to the same month a year earlier. What’s more, all major regions except for the West – where property prices tend to be highest – saw a significant hike in sales activity.
And the NAR isn’t the only organisation noting a rapidly improving property market. CoreLogic’s House Price Index showed home prices increased 7 per cent from November 2016 to November 2017 and jumped 1 per cent from October to November. What’s more, the same index predicts that house prices national will increase by 4.2 per cent between November 2017 and November 2018.
Of course, rising property prices won’t necessarily sound like great news for those hoping to invest in the country soon, but it’s important to remember that these rises are coming on the back of some extremely steep falls. Property in the country still remains largely affordable – especially compared to the UK, for example, and there are still many bargains to be had, even in the areas most popular with investors.
Fun facts about the United States of America
- The current 50-star American flag was designed by a 17-year-old as a school project in 1958. Rather harshly, he got a B-.
- There is enough water in Lake Superior to cover the entire landmass of North and South America in one foot of liquid.
- The position of President of the United States is one of the deadliest jobs in the country. Of the 46 men who have held the position, four have been assassinated – meaning roughly one in ten has been killed in the job.
- Roughly one in three US citizens has his or her fingerprints on file with the FBI.
- Everyone knows that Independence Day is celebrated on 4th July, but 2nd July is actually the day that Congress voted to free the US from British rule. The 4th July is just when John
- Hancock put the first signature on the Declaration of Independence to spread the word.
- Approximately one in eight working Americans has been employed by McDonalds during their career.
- Montana is one of the largest States in the US. It is also one of the most sparsely populated. In fact, cows outnumber people by three to one.
- It is believed that an astonishing 100 acres of pizza are served in the United States every single day!
- The hottest temperature ever recorded in the United States was 57oC, at the aptly named Furnace Creek in California. The baking temperature was recorded on 10th July 1913. Probably unsurprisingly, the coldest temperature was recorded in Alaska. On 23rd January 1971, temperatures plummeted to a rather chilly -62oC in Fort Yukon.
Choosing where to live in the USA
The US is the third largest country in the world and within its borders there will be a location that appeals, no matter what your geographic or climatic preference: beaches, sun, mountains, snow, sprawling cities, quiet backwaters… It’s all there, with each of the country’s 50 States and one Federal District providing a different lifestyle choice for its residents.
However, while foreign property buyers do purchase property nationwide, five States accounted for over half of total residential property purchases in recent years: Florida, Texas, California, New Jersey, and New York. We take a look at each of these States and why they are so popular with international property buyers.
Home to four of the largest cities in the US – Los Angeles, San Diego, San Jose and San Francisco – the Golden State is one of the most instantly recognisable areas of the country. The large majority of the State benefits from a warm Mediterranean climate, although northern areas receive more rainfall than those in the south. California is the country’s economic hub. In terms of gross domestic product, were California an independent country then in 2016 it would have boasted the world’s sixth-largest economy.