The National Association of REALTORS® has announced that it plans to take Realtor.com to the international level. In doing so, the association hopes to become the largest online source for residential property listings in the world.
As part of the launch, the National Association of REALTORS® is planning to add a number of additional features to its site. For example, the Website will feature a translation service and international listings while also providing site visitors with the option to personalize their views.
“While all real estate in the US is local, the same is not true for property owners. The U.S. continues to be a top destination for international buyers from all over the world,” said Ron Phipps, who is the president of the National Association of REALTORS®. “Foreign buyers understand the value of owning a home in this country and can rely on REALTORS® to help guide them through the process of buying property here.”
To assist with the transition, the National Association of REALTORS® will work with Move Inc, which is a leader in the online real estate industry and currently operates Realtor.com. The company will add features to the site that will make it easier for international buyers to search through listings in their own language.
“This expansion of the strategic collaboration between Move and NAR benefits REALTORS®, provides home sellers with access to an even broader audience beyond our domestic borders, and delivers greater choice to home buyers interested in property in the US and internationally,” said Errol Samuelson, who is the president of Realtor.com. “US sellers will be able to generate even greater international exposure for their properties, while US buyers will be able to shop for global properties and connect with real estate professionals who can help them with international transactions.”
According to the National Association of REALTORS® 2010 Profile of International Home Buying Activity, the strength of the US dollar combined with the general desirability of the country’s real estate have made US properties attractive to international buyers. In fact, 7% of the country’s US market was sold to foreign nationals, recent immigrants and temporary visa holders between April 2009 and March 31, 2010, accounting for $66 billion in sales. Furthermore, approximately 28% of REALTORS® report having had worked with at least one international client over the past year, representing a 5% increase when compared to 2008. The median price paid by these foreign investors was $219,400, which is higher than the national median price. In addition, 55% of foreign buyers paid cash when making their real estate purchases, compared to about 8% of domestic real estate buyers.
While buyers from 53 different countries purchased residential property in the United States last year, the highest number of purchases came from Canada, the UK, Mexico, Germany, China and France. The greatest number of international visitors visiting Realtor.com came from the UK, Canada, Australia, Germany, Mexico and Japan.