Foreign Buyers Flock to Northern Virginia Real Estate

The word is out!  Wealthy foreigners have targeted the Washington Metro Area as a market too good to ignore.  Foreign investors are increasingly coming to Northern Virginia to buy homes.

In an annual survey released Tuesday, January 3, 2012, the Association of Foreign Investors in Real Estate (AFIRE), named the top five cities for foreign investment in 2012 as New York, Washington, D.C., San Francisco, Boston and Los Angeles.  The investors who took the survey collectively hold more than $874 billion of real estate globally, including $338 billion in the U.S.  Sixty percent of them say that they plan to increase their U.S. investments this year.  Fifty-nine percent of respondents said that the U.S. offers the most stable and secure real estate investments worldwide — the highest level of respondents’ confidence in the U.S. since 2006.

Multifamily complexes remain the most popular investment property type for foreign buyers, according to the survey.  The survey was conducted in the fourth quarter of 2011 by the James A. Graaskamp Center for Real Estate, Wisconsin School of Business

A report by the National Association of Realtors also identifies foreign investors as a force to be reckoned with.  NAR says that a “significant share” of home purchases are made by people whose primary residence is outside of the U.S.  Internationally oriented sales amounted to $82 billion for the year ending in March 2011, according to the most recent data from the National Association of Realtors, about 8 percent of total U.S. sales and $16 billion more than the same period last year.  These figures are part of a growing trend: for the 12 month period ending April 2010, purchases of residential homes by foreigners totaled $64B, compared to $36B for the 12 month period ending April 2009.

Why Northern Virginia is a Magnet for Foreign Investor

There are many reasons why these investors have targeted our area:

The U.S. real estate market is one of the safest and most stable markets in the world.  It offers growth-oriented tax laws, a consumer-friendly judiciary, and strong private property rights.

Changes in the value of the dollar have also made US real estate more attractive to foreign vendors. The declining value of the dollar relative to their home currencies, combined with declining residential real estate prices in the US, has made US real estate a deal too good to pass up.  These investors know that as the market rights itself, this advantageous situation cannot last and they are snapping up real estate bargains at a furious pace.

Our area’s economy has recovered faster than the rest of the country.  The unemployment rate in Fairfax County is 4.2% as compared to a rate of 4.5% for Northern Virginia and 8.6% for the nation as a whole.  Fairfax County was featured as one of America’s richest counties in a recent issue of Forbes Magazine.  This year the metropolitan area added 18,600 jobs and half of them are located in Northern Virginia.  Unsold housing inventories are low and the figure for average days on the market for Northern Virginia homes is only 60 days.  Because the Washington, DC area offers proximity to U.S. government policymakers and international organizations such as the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, Northern Virginia will remain a favored location for diplomats and the businesses that cater to their upscale lifestyle.

Our region’s popularity with foreign investors is yet another proof that our market is well on the way to recovery.  Additionally, there is a great deal of pent-up demand in our area due to population growth, employment levels and the “doubling up” phenomenon (the tendency for people to live with parents or in group houses during hard times).  As this pent-up demand translates into home buying, prices will rise dramatically.

What all this means for you is that the appeal of our market has gone global and those who sit on the sidelines and continue to wait for the market to “bottom out” will miss the biggest and best deal of the century.

The time to buy is RIGHT NOW while you still can take advantage of historically low interest rates and incredibly low prices.

Linton Hall, Realtors® is the area expert in distressed properties.  Our agents can show you a wide variety of foreclosed and short sale properties that will appeal to every taste and budget.  We have close working relationships with every mortgage lender in the area and have extensive experience in quickly and successfully negotiating and closing foreclosures and short sales.  You can start your hunt for the bargain property of your dreams right now by visiting the buyers section of the Linton Hall, Realtors®’ web site.  There you will find up-to-the-moment information including a prequalification service so that you will know exactly how much you can borrow and at what rate, a homes by e-mail service so that you can get e-mail alerts for homes that meet your specific criteria, community videos, first time homebuyer information, mortgage information and more.

To get involved in this promising market, you need a local expert to guide you.  The local community expert is Ashley Leigh at Linton Hall, Realtors®.  He has sold over 4,500 homes.

Ashley is optimistic about the Year 2012 real estate market.  “Now is the time for all buyers to get into the marketplace. This is an excellent market not just for investors, but also first time buyers, as well as move-up and move-down buyers.  Interest rates are extremely low and I expect them to be low throughout Year 2012,” states Ashley.

Overall, the local market has bounced up nearly 30% in appreciation from its bottom in Year 2007.  Prices are trending upward in most price ranges.  It really is the time to buy!

Contact Ashley Leigh at Linton Hall, Realtors®, Phone: 703-485-4663, Email: [email protected] , website:

About Ashley Leigh

Ashley Leigh is one of the most successful real estate agents in the United States and founder of Linton Hall, Realtors®, the premier real estate company in Prince William County, Virginia. In his book Billion Dollar Agents, Steve Kantor featured Ashley for individually producing well over $2 Billion in career sales selling thousands of homes. Ashley Leigh's innovative marketing programs have been have been written about in Fortune magazine. Additionally, Ashley has been profiled in RISMedia’s Real Estate Magazine and Power Team Report and has been recognized by REALTOR Magazine as one of the Top Sales Agents in the U.S. The Wall Street Journal ranked Ashley as one of America’s Top 20 Realtors in the Nation for his sales production for several years. Connect with Ashley on Google+

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