The National Association of Realtors released a report Tuesday that said foreign buyers and recent immigrants spent an estimated $153 billion on American properties in the year ending March 2017. That was a 49% increase over the previous year and the highest level since record-keeping began in 2009.
The purchases accounted for 10% of the total value of existing home sales in the U.S. The report did not include new homes.
This is more evidence of how the ‘post-America era’ many on the left predicted in 2008-2010, never happened. Since 2008, America has become more important than ever, as a magnet for both cognitive capital and financial capital, as well as a military, political, and economic superpower. This was not supposed to happen, according to all the ‘experts’ at the time. Weren’t France and Germany supposed to overtake America? It’s also a repudiation of blame-America liberalism: if America is as bad and evil as the left insists it is, why is there so much foreign demand for American assets; why are so many foreigners flooding America’s most prestigious institutions of higher learning and most valued tech companies?
But it also shows how the ‘middle class American’, once considered the bedrock of the economy, is playing an increasingly small role in the overall global economy, which has become dominated by financialization, Silicon Valley [7 out of the 10 largest public companies in the world right now are tech companies. Half of them didn’t even exist 20 years ago], and wealthy global consumers. If there is a silver lining to foreign ownership, though, is that it encourages domestic investment and development. For example, if a wealthy foreigner is inclined to spend $3 million on an ice skating rink that only costs $2 million to build, that creates an incentive to build more, which creates jobs and boosts standards of living.