International homebuyers have more impact on the high-end housing market than on the general housing market, according to the latest Zillow Home Price Expectations Survey for the second quarter of 2017, which surveyed over 100 housing authorities. Those surveyed reported that though international buyers have a major effect on home values in the luxury market, they have only a minor effect on supply and values overall.
“International buyers are popular scapegoats for rising real estate prices and shrinking inventory, but domestic factors have had a bigger influence on the housing market, much more so than demand from overseas,” says Dr. Svenja Gudell, chief economist at Zillow. “Older millennials are reaching prime home-buying age, increasing demand for housing, but we are still well behind historical norms when it comes to building new homes. The fact that economists and experts are revising their expectations upward for future home value growth is a sign that these trends will continue to exert upward pressure on prices going forward.”
The majority of those surveyed foresaw international buying activity to either remain at its current pace or slow in the year ahead. Many agreed, also, that recent steps taken by several cities to cap international home-buying will be ineffective at preserving affordability.
Those surveyed, in addition, amended their previous home price forecast, now believing prices will post 4.8 percent growth in 2017—up from 3.4 percent one year ago.
“On the heels of last year’s nearly 7 percent national home value appreciation rate, the prospect that prices will increase less than 5 percent overall this year might be dispiriting to some,” says Terry Loebs, founder of Pulsenomics, conductor of the survey. “Yet, 4.8 percent is not only well above the historical average annual gain; it’s the most optimistic projection for 2017 that we’ve seen from our expert panel over the past five years.”
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