By Geoff Ramsey, CRS, GRI
President, Greater Chattanooga REALTORS®
Foreign buyers continue to see the U.S. real estate market as a secure and safe investment as Realtors® are experiencing an increase in the number of international clients over the past five years, according to a report from the National Association of Realtors® (NAR).
NAR’s 2018 Commercial Real Estate International Business Trends report analyzed cross-border commercial real estate transactions made by Realtors during 2017.
Of the 59 percent of Realtors who indicated they completed a commercial real estate transaction last year, 18 percent reported closing a deal for an international client. Realtors have the expertise and knowledge of working with clients from different countries and real estate practices, so international buyers using a Realtor are at a true advantage and can rely on their global market perspective.
The study found that most Realtors who specialize in commercial real estate reside in smaller commercial markets where the typical deal is less than $2.5 million. Foreign investors are attracted to smaller-sized properties in secondary and tertiary markets, helping the profile of smaller commercial markets grow.
Realtors’ international clients found U.S. commercial real estate markets to be a good value last year. NAR’s report shows 70 percent of Realtors reported that international clients view U.S. prices to be about the same or less expensive than prices in their home country.
The top countries of origin for buyers were China (20 percent), Mexico (11 percent), Canada (8 percent) and the United Kingdom (6 percent). While sellers were typically from Mexico (20 percent), China (15 percent), and Brazil and Israel (both at 10 percent).
Florida and Texas were the top two states where foreigners purchased and sold commercial property last year, with California being the third most popular buyer and seller destination.
Foreign buyers of commercial property typically bring more cash to the table than those purchasing residential real estate. Seventy percent of international transactions were closed with cash, while NAR’s 2017 Profile of International Activity in U.S. Residential Real Estate found that half of buyers paid in cash.
NAR’s commercial community includes commercial members, real estate boards, committees, advisory boards and forums; and NAR commercial affiliate organizations – CCIM Institute, Institute of Real Estate Management, Realtors® Land Institute, Society of Industrial and Office Realtors®, and Counselors of Real Estate.
Approximately 80,000 NAR members specialize in commercial real estate brokerage and related services including property management, land counseling and appraisal. In addition, more than 200,000 members are involved in commercial transactions as a secondary business.
Greater Chattanooga Realtors are the most trusted resource for real estate information in southeast Tennessee and northwest Georgia and maintains a list on www.gcar.net of Realtors who are fluent in languages other than English. Whether you are looking to buy, sell, or just want to make sure you are prepared when that time comes, connect with a Realtor to have the advantage needed in today’s market.
Greater Chattanooga Realtors® is The Voice for Real Estate in Greater Chattanooga. A regional organization with more than 2,000 members, Greater Chattanooga Realtors is one of some 1,300 local boards and associations of Realtors® nationwide that comprise the National Association of Realtors®. Greater Chattanooga Realtors service Hamilton and Sequatchie counties in southeast Tennessee, and Catoosa, Dade, and Walker counties in northwest Georgia. For more information, visit www.gcar.net or call 423.698.8001.