Bay Area Attractive to International Buyers

A globeSan Francisco has been a top destination for international travelers for decades, but in recent years the Bay Area has been attracting a different kind of international interest – as an investment opportunity.

Here at Pacific Union International, we’re seeing a growing number of inquiries – and sales – from investors based in Asian countries and Canada.  Residential properties in San Francisco and vineyards in Napa and Sonoma counties have attracted the most interest, helped by attractive prices in the current market.

China, in particular, is an increasing source of foreign capital. Its growing impact on the global economy is matched only by its rise in consumer spending.

“Anecdotally, we’re hearing a lot more of Chinese buyers looking for wineries,” said Jill Silvas, our branch executive in Sonoma County.  “Chinese consumers are increasingly interested in developing a taste for wine. China is going to be a huge market for wine for the next 10 years at least.”

A recent report from the National Association of Realtors identified California as of the top four states attracting foreign real estate investors (the others are Florida, Texas, and Arizona). It forecasts total sales volume to international clients at $82.5 billion in 2012, up 24 percent from last year.

At Pacific Union, we understand the needs and interests of our diverse mix of clients.

“International buyers are interested in becoming better educated about the local real estate market, and they’re interested in a reputable firm,” said Patrick Barber, president of our San Francisco region. “They want to learn more about the region, but also about tax implications, about debt, and inheritance laws here, and that’s another way we can help.”

(Image courtesy CarbonNYC, via Flickr.)

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