Florida, Texas top foreign buyers property purchase list – Dallas News

Florida and Texas were the top markets on foreign real estate investors shopping lists in 2016.

The National Association of Realtors said 20 percent of its commercial real estate members closed a sale last year involving foreign buyers.

Florida, Texas and California were the most popular markets for offshore buyers acquiring small properties for either investment or use, the Realtors found in their annual commercial real estate survey.

“Nearly half of Realtors reported that they experienced a greater number of international clients looking to buy commercial space over the past five years,” Realtors’ top economist Lawrence Yun said in the report. “Economic expansion has slowly chugged along since the downturn, but in comparison to the rest of the world, the U.S. remains one of the most attractive and safest bets for investors. There’s little evidence this will change anytime soon.”

The Realtors found that most of the foreign buyers making a play in the U.S. were from China. Chinese investors accounted for 17 percent of the commercial property sales handled by Realtors.

After China, Mexico (14 percent), the United Kingdom and Venezuela (both at 7 percent) were where most of the offshore buyers came from.

Most of the commercial real estate purchases handled by Realtors were smaller transactions priced at less than $2.5 million.

Forty percent of the property agents the Realtors surveyed said they expect foreign acquisitions to rise this year.

“Multiple years of steady job growth and the strengthening U.S. economy – albeit at a modest pace – makes commercial property a safe bet for global investors looking to diversify their portfolios and generate returns outside their country of origin,” Yun said.