Northern Virginia – An International Real Estate Investing Mecca
While the US as a whole continues to experience widespread interest from the international real estate investing sector, there are a few spots in the country that stand out. Of course, you’ll find New York and San Francisco on the list, as well as Houston. However, you’ll also find Washington D.C. on the list. While the D.C. area as a whole has fallen to fifth place in the nation, northern Virginia has risen, with cities like Arlington, Alexandria and Richmond becoming preeminent places for international real estate investors and relocation.
Why the Influx?
Why is northern Virginia experiencing such a massive influx of new residents from around the world? Actually, there are quite a few reasons, and each ethnic group moving here has a different driving force. Chinese residents are the fastest growing segment of the state’s population, and they’re coming to take advantage of employment, affordable housing and good schools. Indian residents have similar needs, and actually make up the most affluent demographic in the US (as well as in Virginia). Other nationalities come for a number of other reasons, including:
- Affordable real estate – This is particularly true in comparison with the greater D.C. area, New York and San Francisco.
- Excellent earning potential – Northern Virginia residents enjoy a higher annual income on average than anywhere else in the country.
- Employment outlook – Tech companies as well as a range of other employers are moving to the state in significant numbers, offering excellent employment options.
- A cultural melting pot – Virginia, particularly the northern half, is becoming a true cultural melting pot, and many foreign investors choose to move here to take advantage of that.
Where Are They Moving?
So, where are international buyers purchasing real estate? Where are they moving? You have a few main hubs – Richmond, Arlington and Alexandria, for instance. These cities offer direct access to Washington D.C. and the halls of power without forcing residents to actually live in the nation’s capital. There are other areas as well. For example, Fairfax County is home to almost 200,000 Asian residents.
Of course, not all international relocations are to major cities like those listed above. Others choose to move outlying areas where property prices are even lower, or to education hubs like Charlottesville.
What Are They Buying?
Predicting what various international buyers are purchasing is difficult, mainly because of the wide discrepancies between nations of origin, reasons for moving to Virginia and other factors. International real estate investors not relocating to the area tend to invest in multifamily properties, including apartments and condos. Townhomes are also popular. However, those choosing to move to the state permanently or semi-permanently purchase single-family homes or condos in walkable neighborhoods (this last is a prime target for Indian buyers, who value the ability to get around on foot).
The old Virginia is long gone – today’s state is culturally diverse and becoming increasingly more so every day. It’s an amazing time to live in northern Virginia, regardless of your nation of birth.