International flavor

Homebuyers from these countries are making a move on the Austin market, says report

Homebuyers from these countries are making a move on the Austin market

Austin aerial skyline with bridges and Lady Bird Lake
Buyers from Mexico and China are making a move on Austin. Ryan Conine/Getty Images

Buyers from Mexico and China are scooping up single-family homes in the Austin metro area at a higher rate than homebuyers from any other countries, according to a new report.

The report, issued by the Austin Board of Realtors (ABoR), shows that from April 2020 to March 2021, Mexico and China were the top countries of origin for foreign homebuyers in the Austin area. Each country represented 14 percent of foreign homebuyers. Canada (6 percent) and India (6 percent) came next, followed by Armenia (5 percent).

Overall, international homebuyers pumped $634 million into the Austin-area economy during the one-year span covered by the report. That was well below the $800 million in sales racked up by foreign homebuyers in the pre-pandemic period of April 2019 to March 2020.

“Even though the Austin-area housing market hit historical highs in both sales volume and median price, international homebuying and selling activity slowed due to international travel restrictions and economic uncertainty abroad,” ABoR says in a news release.

Susan Horton, president of ABoR, notes that in the past year, international buyers demonstrated a preference for townhomes and condos for use as investment or vacation properties.

“Even in the midst of a global pandemic, international homebuyers continued to invest in residential real estate in the Austin area — a testament to the strength, popularity, and resiliency of our local housing market,” Horton says.

The $634 million spent by foreign homebuyers accounted for 3 percent of total sales volume, as measured in dollars, from April 2020 to March 2021. The median home price among foreign buyers was $428,100 — higher than the median sales price of foreign buyers nationally ($351,800) and the region’s median price ($320,000) during the period covered by the report.

“With the added job creation by major corporations such as Tesla, Amazon and Apple, Austin’s reputation as a global leader in tech innovation will only continue to grow,” Horton says. “The number of Central Texas Realtors who specialize in international real estate is growing equally as rapidly, and it will be exciting to see Austin’s impact on the international housing market as the world begins to open up again.”