Indians Top Homebuyers in Central Texas: Report

According to a new report recently released by the Austin Board of Realtors, for the first time people of Indian descent made up the largest percentage of international home buyers in central Texas.

Homebuyers from India made up the largest portion of international homebuyers (21 percent), with Mexico (10 percent), China (6 percent) and Canada (4 percent) rounding out the countries of origin for foreign buyers, the 2022 Central Texas International Homebuyers Report said.

According to the report, Central Texas offers Indian homebuyers an alternative to expensive metropolitan areas like New York and San Francisco.

People of Indian origin made up 41 percent of Greater Austin’s 165,000 Asian American individuals in 2019, up from 30 percent of the population in 2010, according to the Greater Austin Asian Chamber of Commerce.

Fueled by growth in Austin’s tech sector, Indian homebuyers are “exploding,” Hem Ramachandran, who has been a real estate agent in Austin for two decades, told Axios. Most of Ramachandran’s clients are Indians who prefer south- or east-facing homes, in line with Vastu Shastra, which he describes as an Indian version of feng shui.

India led with 53 percent purchases in Williamson County, followed by 24 percent in Travis County within the city of Austin, 18 percent outside of the city of Austin and six percent in Hays County. International homebuyers spent $613 million on real estate in the Austin metro area from April 2021 to March 2022 — or 3 percent of the total value of home sales during that period.

“Most foreign buyers from India use US mortgage financing (82 percent) to purchase a property, while 12 percent make all purchases in cash,” the report said.

Additionally, Indian buyers are concentrated in detached single-family homes (94 percent) and 6 percent in residential land.

The Central Texas region offers a diverse range of housing options, from apartments and condos to single-family homes.

According to the report, 59 percent of Indian buyers are buying a primary residence and 35 percent of homes are used as rental properties.

International home buyers include non-US citizens who are here with a green card or foreign work or student visa. According to the report, more than half of foreign buyers have a US green card, signaling they are lawful permanent residents.