California leads USA Property Revival
The focus seems to have switched from Florida to California as the USA property revival continues to gather pace.
Official figures from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) revealed that in February Californian property sales figures increased year-on-year for the twentieth consecutive month.
The NAR statistics showed that there were also significant price increases over the past twelve months, with sale values climbing by 11.6% to $173,600. This meant that values increased for 12 months in a row, the first time that has happened since June 2005-May 2006.
It isn’t just domestic buyers that are fuelling the recovery either. Overseas investors are increasingly likely to be bidding for Californian property and this is reflected in the figures for cash transaction sales.
All-cash sales made up 32% of the total transactions in February, a rise from 28% in January. Investors, who traditionally account for most cash sales, were responsible for 22% of homes changing hands in February, an increase from 19% in January.
It isn’t just home sales that are benefiting from increased demand, as the rental leasing sector is also enjoying positive trends. Although the actual resale prices are rising faster than rental yields, the historically low mortgage rates are making purchases affordable and therefore presenting investors with viable returns on initial outlays.
On a wider level, the NAR reported that total existing homes across America hit an annual rate of 4.98 million in February, which is more than 10% above the level for 2012. In fact, the figures represent the highest level since the tax credit period of November 2009.
Anyone looking to transfer money to the United States to take advantage of the growing potential in the revitalised housing market should take a careful look at their options.
Sending money abroad always means dealing with foreign currency exchange rates, and those quoted by banks are almost always worse than the exchange rates available through specialist currency dealers.