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A look at the impact of foreign buyers on LA’s housing market

A 6 bedroom, 7 bath property estimated at a little over 6 million USD sits for sale in Arcadia, where
A 6 bedroom, 7 bath property estimated at a little over 6 million USD sits for sale in Arcadia, where "mansionization" has become a flash point, houses torn down and mansions built, in a city where Chinese nationals have been investing heavily.

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The National Association of Realtors released a survey Tuesday, which showed a surge in foreign home buyers - about a third more than last year.

As reported by the Los Angeles Times, Chinese nationals bought the most, with $31 billion worth of property purchases, an increase from $27.3 billion the previous year. Buyers from Canada, however, contributed to the largest overall increase according to the survey. This could be due to Chinese investment in Canada, where property prices have been rising. In California, 71 percent of foreign buyers were shown to be from Asia and Oceania. Last year, that number was 51 percent.

These survey results contradict what SoCal real estate agents have been seeing, as they’ve noticed a decrease in Chinese buyers. But nationally, the survey showed that foreign buyers still only account for 5 percent of sales from previously owned homes. So what are the factors of this potential boost? What causes outside the U.S. may be contributing? And how could all of this affect the housing market here in California?


Ken Fears, director of housing finance and regional economics at the National Association of Realtors, which put out this new report

Jordan Levine, senior economist at the California Association of Realtors

Chris Thornberg, founding partner of Beacon Economics; his focus includes economic forecasting, employment and labor markets and economic policy