Chicago Relocation

Coming to America

September 15, 2014

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John D’Ambrogio

Ah, good ole USA, the land of opportunity.  Foreigners have been saying that for centuries.  And more recently, the well to do (not just the huddled masses) have been saying it more and more.

Alexander E.M. Hess, Vince Calio and Thomas C. Frohlich, of 24/7 Wall St. (great site, check it out) recently named the top ten based on RealtyTrac data.  Here they are:

10.   Germany – Why?  They have an extremely high number of ultra high net worth individuals (17,820)  surpassed only by the United States.

9. Sweden Why?  With a slow moving economy, our market looks like a profitable place to park some cash.  Swedish investment in the US doubled from 2009-2013!

8. Canada – Oh Canada!  Making up 45% of the foreign market, they are pouring over the world’s largest un-defended border.  Why?  A strong looney; a common language; and a strong economy.

7. Australia.  Coming in at 11% of foreign buyers according to RealtyTrac’s international subscribers, the Aussies’ strong economy, strong currency, and shared language again make it a huge participant.

6. United Kingdom.  With the fourth highest ultra high net worth population (almost 11,000), Brits too are seeing the US as a safe and economically promising investment option.  Vacation homes are leading their interest.

5.  Italy.  Italy and much of Europe has suffered through this recession.  Again, it is the ultra rich doing the buying.  Seeing unstable future options at home, the USA is viewed as a great option.

4. France.  According to the article – Interest in the United States from French residents has soared With searches for homes on RealtyTrac from France nearly tripling in the last five years and seeing a 60% last year alone.  Not unlike some other European neighbors, oppressive taxes and no-investor friendly policies are also cited as reasons.

3. Hong Kong and China.  Hardly a surprise, these markets saw over 250% increase in prospective homebuyer searches on RealtyTrac.  That’s over 4% of all international searches.  And with the 4th largest population of high  net worth bid ideals, there are a lot of people interested in taking their money abroad,  particularly from China.

2. Switzerland.  Why the Swiss?  They seem to have it all – greateconomy, laws favorable to the wealthy,  And great chocolate.  But it also has over 6000 “ultra wealthy” who are looking at the US as a relatively affordable place to park some of that wealth.

1. United Arab Emirates.  While only about 1% of internationals doing searches, interest by this nation has increased over 350% in recent years.

It’s nice to know we’re still a safe haven to most of the world.