International buyers are making up an increasingly potent share of Houston’s real estate market, according to the 2012 International Real Estate Business Survey.
Conducted by the Houston Association of Realtors and covered by the Houston Chronicle, the survey found that 39 percent of agents sampled dealt with international buyers in 2011, and no group was more pronounced than Mexicans – and in no market were they more active than the Woodlands.
For some perspective on the Mexican buyer, we chatted with Cody Phillips of Prudential Gary Greene, who has lived and worked in the Woodlands for years.
- Houston-area residents, Phillips explained, are intimately aware of the local events in Mexico; with the city’s proximity to Mexico, local news outlets often cover the stories of the country, and he said that with the tough times that have befallen Mexico, many affluent buyers are moving to the Houston area.
- Even before he began servicing Mexican buyers, Phillips said their presence in the Woodlands and other Houston neighborhoods was undeniable. From a new assortment of Spanish-speakers on the streets to surprisingly competitive prices at restaurants (affluent buyers from Mexico, he said, are increasing demand for such amenities), Phillips said you can’t help but observe the rising demographic.
- The Woodlands are especially attractive, Phillips said, because of its low crime rates and strong public schools, qualities that all of the relocating Mexicans desire. Also, with ExxonMobil planning a new headquarters near the neighborhood, demand for the homes has shot up dramatically.
- And finally, Phillips said he has spoken with numerous colleagues who are servicing huge collections of Mexican buyers; one agent, in fact, said just under half of the properties she had sold recently were to Mexican buyers.