The Bay Area housing market is no longer the bargain it used to be for foreign investors, despite the region's continued record-breaking home price appreciation.
Low supply along with those high prices are keeping foreign investors away; a survey by the California Association of Realtors found that the share of foreign investment in the Golden State's residential real estate markets was 3 percent in 2017, down from 8 percent in 2013. Too, the median price of international investors' purchases fell from $812,500 in 2015 to $667,500 last year, The Mercury News reports. Local experts say that Chinese laws restricting the amount of currency that can be transferred internationally is partly to blame for the slowdown.
DeLeon Realty used to shuttle Chinese investors on home tours around Silicon Valley in a 14-seat Mercedes van. But when the flow of Asian investors slowed about two years ago, the Palo Alto brokerage replaced the van with a couple of sedans — a Bentley and a Maybach — to cater to a new, smaller class of wealthier clients. “We sold the bus,” said DeLeon CEO Michael Repka. “By that time, we had already seen the shift.”