America’s housing boom earlier this millennium turned out to be a bubble that brought down the economy when it burst. The fallout from the housing bust has not been limited to the United States, however – nearly every major economy in the world across several continents has been affected.
But now, as other countries emerge from the worldwide economic downturn, wealthy citizens from some of these nations are turning once again to the United States housing market as a secure and reasonably affordable place to invest. That in turn is helping the U.S. to slowly rebound from its worst recession in decades.
As of March 31st of this year, foreign nationals and immigrants who have lived in the U.S. for less than two years spent over $80 billion in the previous twelve months (from March 31, 2011 to March 31, 2012) on America real estate, making up about 9% of all housing purchases during this period. Foreign investors and new immigrants on average tend to spend $150,000 more on each of their property purchases than other buyers, and they also tend to pay for their homes in cash.
Apart from viewing the American housing market as a safe place for their money, foreign investors also choose to buy property, particularly homes or condos, in the U.S. for business purposes, for leisure, and for retirement.
The EB-5 visa, which is awarded to foreign entrepreneurs who invest at least $500,000 in a commercial enterprise in the United States and create 10 permanent full-time jobs, is also a factor driving foreign investment in the American housing market. That is because the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services agency gives a temporary visa to a foreign investor whose EB-5 visa application has been approved. With a temporary visa in hand, an immigrant investor can come and stay in the United States with his or her family while the EB-5 project is developed. If the job creation requirements are met within two years, a foreign entrepreneur can have a temporary visa converted to an EB-5 visa, which grants the holder the ability to work and live in the US. The American housing market benefits from the EB-5 visa program, since foreign entrepreneurs need a place to live.
Certain states appeal to foreign investors and new immigrants who are looking for homes for a variety of reasons. For example, Florida is a popular housing market for citizens of Latin and South American countries. Although Brazil, Argentina, Venezuela and many other countries in the region are prospering, wealthy citizens from these nations perceive American real estate as a sound investment option, at least compared to their home countries.
Canadians and Germans, perhaps as a result of the colder climates that they experience at home, prefer warm-weather states like Arizona and Florida.
On the other hand, wealthy Mexican citizens tend to buy homes in Texas, which has both geographic and cultural appeal for them. California, the biggest state of all, attracts people from all over the world.
Eb5Investors.com provides an abundant amount of information on the EB-5 visa process and offers professional legal assistance to its clients.