Buy Alexandria Real Estate: Global Real Estate Investors Flocking to Washington D.C. in 2011

Alexandria Virginia Real Estate Blog

Global Real Estate Investors Flocking to Washington D.C. in 2011

Global Real Estate Investors Come to Washington D.C.With nary a wait on a security line or flight across time zones, international investors are purchasing real estate in the United States through the click of a mouse, a view of photos and virtual tours and an exchange of e-mails and phone calls with REALTORS in their location of choice.  For many global real estate investors, the Washington D.C. area will be that location of choice in 2011.

According to the Washington Business Journal, Washington will be the second-most favorite city for real estate investments among foreign investors, both within the U.S. and globally in 2011.  The Washington Business Journal reports that:

"As the fear of a double-dip recession has faded, investors are becoming more enthusiastic about the prospects for the U.S. economy and are taking aim at real estate investment opportunities," said AFIRE (Association of Foreign Investors in Real Estate) Executive Director James Fetgatter. "However their strategy is more akin to a rifle than a shotgun. Except for multi-family housing, they are not scattering their interest throughout the U.S., but rather narrowly targeting it to New York City and Washington, D.C. to an even greater extent than in previous years." [Emphasis added]

The National Association of REALTORS provides information reporting that over 4% of residential purchases in the United States are made by foregin clients with permanent residences outside of the United States.  During a 12 month period from mid-2009 to early 2010, this foreign investment accounted for over $41 billion in residential real estate transactions.

If you're planning to sell your home in the D.C. area (including Northern Virginia) in 2011, there's a good chance that it may be sold to a foreign investor.  Here's some information you should know:

  • Foreign investors typically purchase homes in a somewhat higher price range than the average market.
    • In 2010, the median price (nationwide) for international purchasers was $219,400 compared to $173,000 for all home purchases.

  • 55% of international purchasers paid cash for their home purchase.

Here's a chart from the National Association of REALTORS showing the international purchases by client nationality:

International Purchases by Client Nationality


When it comes to international real estate transactions in the D.C. area, there are several distinct benefits to choosing me as your REALTOR whether you are selling your existing home here or are a foreign investor yourself looking to purchase in Washington D.C. or Northern Virginia.

1.  My blog and website get a lot of global exposure.  Over the last few years, people from 178 countries around the world have visited my site.  A full 5.75% of the site's traffic comes from visitors outside the United States.  In the last month alone, has received website traffic from almost 70 countries.  I frequently get e-mail inquiries and phone calls from people overseas looking to purchase property in the D.C. area.

2.  I have significant experience working with foreign buyers.  During the past 3 or 4 years, I have successfully closed real estate transactions in Northern Virginia and D.C. with clients from India, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, Vietnam, Malaysia, South America, and Poland.  Often these transactions involve communication over timezones, complexities with mortgage lending requirements, and handling overseas paperwork and international wiring of funds. 

3.  My access to the RE/MAX global network.  As a Managing Broker at RE/MAX Allegiance, I have access to a vast network of RE/MAX Agents and Brokers around the world.  As of this writing, there are nearly 90,000 RE/MAX associates in 84 countries (see map below).  These brokers and agents refer their clients to others within the RE/MAX network. 

RE/MAX Around the World


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Comment balloon 1 commentBrian Block • January 05 2011 12:18PM


Hi Brian - I've received my I.R.E.S. Designation in Vancouver, BC, Canada today and I noticed that you have a IRES designation as well.  I'm presently building a larger network so that your listings can be featured in my city (for an international exposure), and mine can be featured by you.  Presently I have approximately 20 listings which might be of interest to you.  

Look forward to chatting some more with you with respect to co-listing each other's properties, if you are interested in speaking further?  Cheers, Jark.


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