PRESIDENT'S CORNER: Understanding Why ‘Global is Local’
Tony D'Anzica | April 17, 2023
It sounds cliché, but when HGAR’s Global Business Council proclaims: “Global is Local and Local is Global,” nowhere does that mantra ring truer than in our own backyard.
Approximately 48% of New York residents speak a language other than English with about 800 languages spoken in New York City, more than any other city in the world. Nearly 20% of New York’s population speaks Spanish. Russian, Haitian, Italian, Bengali, Arabic and Korean are among the top 10 languages spoken in NY. Outside of Asia, N.Y.’s Chinese population is the largest in the world.
Two of the National Association of Realtors’ core initiatives are to 1) position and increase engagement and drive awareness of NAR as a global entity, and 2) increase the global focus at local and state associations. NAR has developed formal relationships with more than 100 real estate associations in 76 countries around the world.
NAR offers the Certified International Property Specialist (CIPS) designation. If you have your “At Home with Diversity” designation, then you’ve already completed 20% of your CIPS course requirements. With a CIPS designation, Realtors gain access to an exclusive network of thousands of CIPS across the globe—many of whom regularly attend our events and travel to our area.
Locally, HGAR participates in monthly networking meet-ups of CIPS designees from the tri-state area. No other region in the country offers such a unique networking opportunity where CIPS designees refer business to each other not only globally, but locally.
According to NAR’s 2022 Profile of International Transactions in U.S. Residential Real Estate, New York State is among the top six destinations for Foreign Buyers. According to NAR, the term international or foreign client (“Foreign Buyer”) refers to two types of clients: 1) Non-resident foreigners (non-U.S. citizens with permanent residences outside the U.S.); and 2) Resident foreigners (non-U.S. citizens who are either recent immigrants or non-immigrant visa holders who reside for more than six months in the U.S. for professional, educational, or other reasons).
Nationally, the Foreign Buyer median purchase price is $366,100, compared to $355,700 for all U.S. existing homes sold. The dollar volume of Foreign Buyer residential purchases in the U.S. exceeded $59 billion, with more than 98,000 existing-home purchases recorded during the survey period. Non-immigrant visa holders and recent immigrants (residing in the U.S. less than two years at the time of the transaction) accounted for 57% of all Foreign Buyers.
Why does that matter to HGAR members? HGAR’s own International Residential Transactions Report (for the period 2021-2022) found that even during a slow pandemic year Foreign Buyers purchased more than 700 properties worth over $700 million within HGAR’s territory. During the survey period, the top five countries of origin for Foreign Buyers were Canada, China, India, Switzerland and Albania with 43% of Foreign Buyers purchasing in Westchester County and 16% purchasing in Orange County. NAR will be surveying HGAR Members again for the 2022-2023 period during the month of April, we ask that you be on the lookout and respond to the Survey.
Regionally, the median Foreign Buyer purchase price was $750,000 with 14% of transactions paid all-cash. The same report found that 11% of HGAR survey respondents reported U.S. clients searching for properties abroad, mainly for vacation or rental use.
HGAR’s Global Business Council provides our members with the tools and resources to connect globally with real estate professionals throughout the world. These tools include our own innovative Global Business Chats. Our Global Real Estate Summit, one of HGAR’s premier annual events, explores cutting-edge real estate issues from taxation, immigration, sustainability, architecture and urbanism, while also hosting one of the largest global Realtors networking events in the U.S. HGAR helped transform the Global Real Estate Summit into one of the largest Realtor collaborations in the U.S. involving 11 Realtor associations in two countries. Our Global Real Estate Summit is the best place to learn more about growing your “global” business and our next Global Summit will be held on Oct. 19 at Manhattan’s Fordham University.
HGAR is also the Ambassador Association to two bilateral real estate partners in Portugal—Portuguese International Realty and Associação dos Profissionais e Empresas de Mediação Imobiliária de Portugal (“APEMIP”). This partnership culminated in HGAR’s hugely successful trade mission to Portugal in 2022, which not only resulted in business opportunities for the HGAR members who attended, but also established a new business network where real estate professionals from Portugal and HGAR engage each other almost weekly. In July, our Portuguese partners will participate in a trade mission to New York and all HGAR members are invited to participate.
HGAR’s commitment to attending MIPIM in France, the largest real estate conference in the world, has resulted in many bilateral relationships with associations around the world and the U.S. Our 2022 MIPIM participation directly resulted in re-establishing a previously defunct NAR bi-lateral relationship with Portugal’s APEMIP. MIPIM allowed HGAR to make crucial connections with leaders in commercial real estate, who are now engaging with us locally.
MIPIM helped HGAR understand the crucial importance of foreign direct investment and economic development in our region. As a result, over the past two years our programming has evolved to feature topics and speakers focusing on foreign direct investment and economic development. Recently, HGAR’s Commercial and Investment Division hosted a panel of speakers from local economic development councils representing almost every HGAR county. Last year’s Global Real Estate Summit included a panel of economic development council leaders from New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut.
Global real estate is more local than you think. If you’re interested in developing new relationships, expanding your business network, learning about unique travel opportunities with trade missions, or becoming more globally conscious, then you should join our Global Business Council, attend our events, speak to members who benefited from our programs, or contact our staff for more information.
With more than 130 Global Business Councils across the U.S., HGAR was among only 13 Realtor Associations to win NAR’s coveted Platinum Award in 2022. So, please take advantage of HGAR’s excellence in global programming because the world really can be your oyster!