Nov 3, 2022 - News

Indian homebuyers are top foreign purchasers in Central Texas

An aerial view of an Austin subdivision.

A residential neighborhood in Austin in May. The pandemic housing boom, marked by record price gains and coast-to-coast bidding wars, is finally reaching its limit. Photographer: Jordan Vonderhaar/Bloomberg via Getty Images

People of Indian origin, for the first time, comprise the largest share of international homebuyers in Central Texas, per a new report by the Austin Board of Realtors.

Why it matters: As their population expands in Central Texas, people of Indian origin are putting down long-term roots here, and that has cultural and political implications for the region.

Details: Homebuyers from India comprised the largest share of international homebuyers (21%), with Mexico (10%), China (6%) and Canada (4%) rounding out the countries of origin for foreign buyers.

  • Of note: International homebuyers include non-U.S. citizens who are here on a green card or are here on a foreign work or student visa.
  • More than half of the foreign buyers have a U.S. green card, signaling they're lawful permanent residents.

By the numbers: International homebuyers spent $613 million on properties in the greater Austin area from April 2021 to March 2022 — or 3% of the residential sales total value during the period.

  • The median home price among foreign buyers was $513,900, slightly higher than the Austin-Round Rock MSA median price ($500,000) during the survey period.

Between the lines: The Indian American population of Austin is growing as a portion of an overall booming Asian American population in Central Texas.

  • People of Indian origin comprised 41% of the 165,000 Asian American individuals in greater Austin in 2019, up from 30% of the population in 2010.

Dig deeper: 59% of Indian buyers were purchasing a primary residence, and 35% of the homes are used as rental property, per the report.

What they're saying: Driven by the growth in Austin's tech sector, the number of Indian homebuyers is "exploding," says Hem Ramachandran, who has worked as a realtor for two decades in Austin and says most of his clients are Indian.

  • Worth noting: Ramachandran tells Axios that many Indian buyers prefer south or east facing homes, in keeping with vastu shastra, which he describes as an Indian version of feng shui.

The bottom line: "Our quality of life and economic opportunity make us one of the most desirable places to live in the world, and we're seeing that reflected in a consistent level of international homebuyers purchasing property here," Cord Shiflet, the Austin Board of Realtors president, said.

  • "This is another sign of Austin's evolution from a college town into a global economic and lifestyle destination."

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