They came a long way

Hot Texas real estate market brings in billions from international buyers

Hot Texas housing market brings in billions from international buyers

8613 Navidad Austin home for sale
Homebuyers from around the globe are flocking to Texas. Photo courtesy of Kuper Sotheby's International Realty

International homebuyers may have the world at their fingertips, but it's the Lone Star State where many want to invest.

The Texas Association of Realtors' 2019 Texas International Homebuyers Report reveals that 18,310 Texas homes were sold to international buyers between April 2018 and March 2019, totaling $7.8 billion in sales. That accounts for 10 percent of all U.S. homes sold to foreign buyers, trailing only Florida (20 percent) and California (12 percent).

While $7.8 billion is a lot of money, it's the state's lowest haul from this group of buyers in six years, according to the association. From April 2017 to March 2018, international buyers spent $10.89 billion on 24,012 Texas homes. The previous year, they spent a staggering $18.66 billion on 34,135 Texas homes.

Texas isn't alone in the downward trend. Nationwide, the number of international homebuyer purchases dropped 31 from the previous period.

Despite slowing sales, Texas steadily represents 9-12 percent of all U.S. homes sales to this group of buyers each year.

“Texas is seen as a solid state for investments due to our strong economy, business environment, and large metropolitan areas,” says Tray Bates, chairman of Texas Realtors, in a release. “Investors are interested in residential and commercial real estate in Texas where they can deploy their resources to make an attractive return. Specifically, we’re seeing international investors look to Texas for large-scale investments in subdivisions and master planned communities.”

And who's buying in Texas? The report shows 28 percent of buyers from Mexico bought homes in Texas the latest reporting period. The Lone Star State was also a hot spot for buyers from India (13 percent), the U.K. (4 percent), China (3 percent), and Canada (3 percent).

The state also ranks third in homes sold by foreign owners. In the most recent period studied, 8 percent of all U.S. homes sold by international sellers were in Texas.