Foreign Buyers Drop Off, But Still Love Seattle

The big real estate headlines in the Seattle Times this week read, “Foreign buyers drop off as Seattle housing market hits hottest tempo since 2006,” and “Chinese millionaires pick Seattle as No. 2 place in the world to live, survey shows.”

This news seems contradictory, if you only read the headlines. The articles go on to explain that foreign buyers, particularly Chinese, prefer Seattle but don’t necessarily see it as a bargain any more. May housing prices were up 13.3% year over year in Seattle. Home sales are down slightly, and inventory remains at an abnormal low.

According to the National Association of Realtors, more foreign buyers are now choosing states with more affordable home prices. Canadians move to sunny Florida. Mexicans move to Texas. And Chinese buyers prefer California, not necessarily affordable but L.A. is #1 on their bucket list for millionaires.