A new report from the Texas Realtors shows that foreign homebuyers spent more than $4 billion purchasing Texas land from April 2022 to March 2023.
The report showed that international buyers purchased 10,000 homes in Texas during that time, making up 2.8 percent of all homes sold.
The median home price for international buyers was $320,800, while the average purchase price was $446,100. According to the Texas Realtors, “This suggests that while the majority of international buyers purchased homes priced close to or below the Texas median, a subset of international buyers bought significantly more expensive homes, driving up the average and total dollar volume.”
Forty-nine percent of the buyers paid in cash, which the Texas Realtors said “indicates that many of those buyers had a desire and means to purchase property without obtaining a mortgage.”
Mexico provided the most international homebuyers at 41 percent. The other four top countries were China at 8 percent, India at 7 percent, Nigeria at 5 percent, and Venezuela at 5 percent.
Another report from the National Association of Realtors showed that Texas was the second most desirable state for foreign homebuyers—with more than 11 percent of the buyers purchasing residential properties in the state.
Florida topped the list with 23 percent, while California was third with more than 12 percent.
According to Marcus Phipps, Chairman of the Texas Realtors, the report demonstrates Texas’ appeal to foreign investors.
“Texas has long been one of the most popular states for international buyers,” said Phipps. “Our strong economy, diverse population, and high quality of life make the Lone Star State an attractive destination.”
However, some have raised concerns that allowing foreign homebuyers to purchase Texas land may open the state to security risks.
In 2022, Texas Scorecard reviewed the widely reported activities of Chinese billionaire Sun Guangxin, whose companies bought hundreds of thousands of acres in Val Verde, Texas in 2015. As a member of the Chinese military, Guangxin has ties to the Chinese Communist Party. His companies planned to start a wind farm on a portion of the land near Laughlin Air Force base.
These acquisitions drew shock and concern from lawmakers and citizens in 2019. It prompted the passage of the Lone Star Infrastructure Protection Act in 2021, which was supposed to prohibit foreign companies or citizens from countries like China from purchasing land near critical infrastructure, such as military bases.
However, weak spots in the law soon became apparent. State Sen. Lois Kolkhorst (R–Brenham) then proposed a law—Senate Bill 147—that would have banned the ownership of Texas’ agricultural land, mineral interests, and timber by citizens, companies, or governmental entities of countries designated by the federal government as threats to U.S. national security.
Despite public interest in protecting Texas’ land and resources, State Rep. Todd Hunter (R–Corpus Christi), who chairs the House State Affairs Committee, never gave SB 147 a hearing in the Texas House.