Foreign buyers interested in Bay Area housing market

Any successful metropolitan housing market normally has a fair share of foreign investors, and San Francisco has recently experienced a surge in activity that is giving strength to the theory that the housing bust is over. Homes for sale in the Bay Area are being snatched up in record numbers by buyers, a significant number of whom are not from the United States.

The San Francisco Chronicle reported that in the Bay Area, 6 percent of people who looked for homes were not American citizens. All in all, real estate data suggests that San Francisco might be the number one city in the United States when it comes to foreign home interest.

"Housing is much more affordable in the U.S. than it has been, both for Americans and foreigners," said economist and real estate expert Jed Kolko, according to the news source. "In markets where prices fell dramatically during the housing bust, foreigners have been searching for and buying bargains."

Why are so many foreign nationals considering the U.S. market? One reason might be that the global economy in Asia and other parts of the world is doing well by comparison to North America. Additionally, while the U.S. economy is slowly recovering, it is still way down from its high point in the early- and mid-2000s. However, foreign investors may not have all of the financial records that are required by many sellers in the United States. For example, a Chinese citizen looking at homes for sale in the Bay Area might not have any U.S. credit history.

The overall interest might be due to the recovering housing market. The Chronicle also reported that home prices increased across the board from 2009 to 2012, with every community in the Bay Area experiencing at least a .32 percent boost. The cheapest homes are currently found in Diamond Heights, which has an average home value of $293,500. The most expensive property is now listed in Seacliff neighborhood, where a home now fetches a whopping average of $2,362,500, according to the news source.

Increasing home values are indicative of a successful market, so if you are looking to relocate to the Bay Area in the near future, you should check out the property listings sooner rather than later. As the economy continues to improve, foreign investors are likely to remove the best deals from the open market.