The presence of international home buyers in California has been a major one for quite some time and recent data shows that their influence on the local market is still well and strong. According to the California Association of REALTORS®, despite the slowing in the California market and the appreciation of the dollar in the United States in 2014 home buyers throughout the world are still flexing their muscles. The association’s 2014 International Home Buyers Survey showed that 14 percent, or one in six REALTORS® closed a deal with an international home buyer in California.
According to the survey, more than one in three international buyers were from China, about 36 percent, and many of them purchased with cash. In fact, 66 percent paid full in cash, which is actually down slightly from 2013 when 69 percent of those buyers were shelling out for a home with cash in hand. The average international buyer is also buying more expensive homes, above the median single-family home value in the state of $$447,000.
Irvine Housing Market Update
The Irvine housing market saw home values fall in 2014 and remain flat for the majority of the year. In the final month, the median single-family home slowly began to increase in value as the new year rolled around. Once 2015 got officially started the median home value actually began to soar and hasn’t eased up yet. According to Altos Research, a California-based real estate analytics company, the median home value in Irving as of February 13 was posted at $1.139 million for the 90-day average and nearly $1.28 million for the seven-day average.
And while the demand for homes here dipped to its lowest point in September, the market has always been in favor of sellers here. Last summer a REALTOR.com survey reported Irvine to be one of the top three communities in which foreign investors where looking for homes, and with the median home value high here but fairly stagnant for the first part of the year it makes sense.
However demand was still high for the majority of last year. Altos uses a unique figure called the Market Action Index to determine whether conditions are trending in favor of home buyers or sellers using a scale with 30 as the neutral value. September conditions were the closest to this breaking point, but conditions have since scaled highly back in favor of the home seller. The index was reported at 41.09 as of February 13. Most recently the amount of available properties in Irving was at its lowest point in 12 months, which likely helped keep demand high.
There were about 199 properties available in the Irving market in the middle of February and those properties were available for an average of about 103 days. With the spring market looming ahead, Irving is primed to have spectacular conditions lead by the influence of international buyers.
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