Foreign Homebuyers Targeting TX Real Estate

Sold home for sale sign in front of beautiful new house. | Image by Andy Dean Photography/Shutterstock

International homebuyers have spent billions of dollars acquiring residential real estate in Texas.

Foreign homebuyers made $4.3 billion worth of Texas home purchases between April 2022 and March 2023, with the bulk of buying activity coming from individuals living in Mexico (41%), China (8%), and India (7%), according to a new report by Texas Realtors.

In total, foreign homebuyers purchased about 10,000 residential units, or about 2.8% of all homes sold from April 2022 to March 2023. Texas Realtors found that 61% of these foreign-born homebuyers resided in the United States on visas or were recent immigrants.

In addition, roughly 50% of all residential purchases made by foreign buyers were completed via all-cash transactions, which indicates that buyers had “a desire and means to purchase property without obtaining a mortgage,” said Texas Realtors in a press release about the report.

The Lone Star State has a major appeal to foreign investors, according to Texas Realtors Chairman Marcus Phipps.

“Texas has long been one of the most popular states for international buyers,” said Phipps, per the press release. “Our strong economy, diverse population, and high quality of life make the Lone Star State an attractive destination.”

The median home price for international buyers was $320,800, slightly lower than the overall Texas median of $342,000. On the other hand, the average purchase price for international buyers was $446,100.

“This suggests that while the majority of international buyers purchased homes priced close to or below the Texas median, a subset of international buyers bought significantly more expensive homes, driving up the average and total dollar volume,” Texas Realtors said.

Some state officials have suggested that such international purchasing could open the state up to security risks. State lawmakers passed the Lone Star Infrastructure Protection Act in 2021 to address such concerns.

The purpose of the law is to prohibit certain foreign-owned companies or individuals affiliated with the governments of China, Iran, North Korea, and Russia from purchasing land near critical infrastructure like military bases, the state’s electric grid, hazardous waste treatment facilities, and water treatment facilities.

However, due to certain loopholes in the law, state officials like Sen. Lois Kolkhorst (R–Brenham) followed up by proposing SB 147, which would prohibit the ownership of Texas’ agricultural land, mineral interests, and other properties by governmental entities of countries designated as threats to U.S. national security.

Still, notwithstanding worries over the number of Texas homes being sold to Chinese citizens or other foreign entities, Rep. Todd Hunter (R–Corpus Christi), who chairs the House State Affairs Committee, never gave the measure a hearing in the Texas House, despite the bill being passed by the Senate.

The Dallas Express reached out to Texas Realtors to learn more about why Texas has become a hotspot for foreign homebuyers but did not hear back by the time of publishing.

The full report can be viewed here.

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