You’ve seen the headlines. The combination of lower prices, increased rents and a weak dollar are drawing investor capital from all around the globe and funneling it into American housing. According to NAR, foreign investment is US real estate has increased by 20% in the 12 months ending march 2011, totaling $82 billion in just one year. What’s missing in most of these stories is why.
Why are overseas real estate investors, who are standing thousands of miles away with little if any personal experience in US real estate, pouncing on this opportunity? Low prices and great exchange rates don’t explain it. If you hear of a stock that has plummeted, would you buy it based on that fact alone? Or would you want to understand the fundamentals of the company behind the stock. What do they produce? Who are their customers? Why should you believe this investment will pay off, as opposed to seeing the new low price as an accurate reflection of the value of the company? In other words, if it’s a piece of junk, you wouldn’t care how cheap it is.