2016 will be another historical year for International Real Estate and HAR’s International Advisory Group is ready for it to begin! We have some big shoes to fill as Bill Gottfried our Past-Chairmen lead our group in 2015 to achieving the NAR Platinum Global Achievement Award and we want to do it again. Our team is working on some exciting trade missions, forms, educational programs, networking opportunities and community outreach activities that will help all HAR members who work international business continue to gain success in their careers.

2015 was a historical year for international real estate sales accounting for $104 Billion nationally. That’s up 11.4 percent and Texas accounted for more than $8.32 Billion of all international sales.  For the first time in Texas International Homebuyers Report history, international buyers from Latin America (Mexico) did not make up the clear majority of international home sales in Texas.
Texas home sales by homebuyers from Latin America (including Mexico) fell by one third to 41 percent of all international home sales in Texas from April 2014 to March 2015. Conversely, the percentage of homebuyers from Asia/Oceania (including China), Europe and Africa all doubled to 31 percent, 15 percent and 8 percent, respectively.

The number of international clients from Canada who purchased homes in Texas from April 2014 to March 2015 remained relatively the same, decreasing slightly to 4 percent of all international home sales in Texas.

Texas continues to be a hub for migration to the United States: Of the 1,031,631 people who immigrated to the United States in 2012, 9.3 percent (95,557) moved to Texas. Texas outpaces the nation in percentage of immigrant population. Eighty-three percent of Texans are native to the U.S. compared to 87 percent nationally. Six Texas Metropolitan Statistical Areas were in the top 50 MSAs for immigration. Austin moved up one place to No. 25, while El Paso and San Antonio swapped places to No. 27 and No. 28, respectively.
No. 6 – Houston | Sugar Land | Baytown – 31,953
No. 8 – Dallas | Fort Worth | Arlington – 26,760
No. 25 – Austin | Round Rock | San Marcos – 6,015
No. 27 – El Paso – 5,261
No. 28 – San Antonio | New Braunfels – 5,082
No. 40 – McAllen | Edinburg | Mission – 3,267 Texas continues to be a hub for migration to the United States.

Of the 990,553 people who immigrated to the United States in 2013, 9.3 percent (92,674 people) moved to Texas. Texas continues to be #3 in the U.S. for foreign born population size and No. 7 in the U.S. for percentage of foreign born residents among the entire state population.

Due to these numbers we will start our year off with a trade mission to Monterrey, Mexico to visit our friends and colleges with AMPI (Asociacion Mexicana de Profesionales Inmobiliarios, A.C.) on January 26-30th to gather insight on how to do business in Mexico and learn their process better and encourage them to bring their investments to Texas; Houston preferably. By building our relationships with our friends in Mexico we will be better able to incorporate training that will help our members doing business across these boarders to obtain more business with less hassles.’ You can be a member of AMPI for only $100/year or only $50/year for all CIPS Designees. We will continue throughout the year to keep our relations with not only Mexico but with Canada, Japan, China, Europe and also with other associations in the U.S. We encourage you to be a part of other local associations such as NAHREP, AAREA, AREAA, and FIABCI. At the November NAR meeting in San Diego, Tom Gallagher, one of our IAG members met with Rena Levy, the 2015 Chairmen of the Las Vegas Global Business Council at their 3rd “Cadence in Henderson” where they toured the city and gave them an idea of how to do business there in Las Vegas. We hope to have other cities invite us to see what their associations are doing so we can learn and continue to advance our International Advisory Group. This year we plan on inviting other countries to come visit our Association and share with them how we do business here and why Houston is where investors should bring their money!

Education will continue to be one of the tools we bring to all members in 2016.  We will offer an International 101 Day, several “Around the World in 60 Minutes” training opportunities, and offer the CIPS Designation.  I encourage all those who are currently working international business to take this class as it will give you a huge insight on how to do business around the world.  Those of you who have already taken this class and obtained their designation, please don’t forget to renew your designation for 2016 at www.realtor.org/cipsdues.

As your 2016 Chair of the International Advisory Group, I want to continue to move forward in making it easier to input listings into area 82 with everyone in compliance. Last year a committee was formed and lead by Susan Annoura that pointed us in the right direction to have a form promulgated by HAR for use by its members to market international listings properly. This year our committee will work extremely hard to push forward and create a form that will be accessible to all HAR members. We have a lot of work to do to get this passed but we are starting the year off to a great start and will see that it will end successfully. Stay tuned as we will report our progress throughout the year and be sure to get involved and consider international real estate if you have not already, it will be the future in real estate!