Thursday, June 3, 2021

Where do U.S. retirees really emigrate to? It’s not what international real estate purveyors would have you believe.


  Harrison Hot Springs, British Columbia. Canada is the preferred destination of U.S. retirees.

While I have addressed International Living and Real Estate Trend Alert before, there are many other vendors of foreign real estate fantasies and get-rich-quick-schemes with their hyperbole about Costa Rica, Panama, Ecuador, Vietnam, etc. 

Every year, though, the U.S. Social Security Administration summarizes the number of Americans in other countries receiving social security benefits, and it paints a much different picture. These are retirees, spouses and those who are on disability. In 2019 the Social Security Administration was mailing checks to 682,888 Americans outside the U.S., an impressive number, but most of the destinations don’t seem to be the ones constantly promoted by Katherine Peddicord or International Living

Where in the Western Hemisphere have the most U.S. retirees moved to? Canada. There were 110,626 retirees receiving social security and SDI checks there, although some of these retirees may have already been Canadian, and were returning home with U.S. social security benefits. 

What about the Latin American hot spots constantly featured in the real estate fantasy magazines? Costa Rica – 2551, Panama --2799, and Ecuador – 3879 U.S. retirees. One exception is Mexico, with about 60,000 retirees, but some of these may also be Mexican citizens returning home after a career in the U.S. 

Thailand and Vietnam are mentioned as the hottest retirement hot spots in Asia. The number of retirees is 7262 in Thailand and just 556 in Vietnam. Where in Asia are the most U.S. retirees? Japan, with more than 90,000. 

Portugal and Spain get mentioned as the hottest European retirement hot spots, but Portugal has just 12,910 U.S. retirees and Spain has 12,732. The leading European nations in attracting Americans are Germany (40,000) and the United Kingdom (37,500).

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Another appraisal in Seoul, Gangnam-style

 

The subject is a 14-story office tower in Seoul, built in 2006, with a height of 182 feet. Gross building area is 70,310 square feet (6532.81 square meters), covering most of the site.

This was yet another valuation assignment done for inheritance purposes as wealthy Korean immigrants to the U.S. pass on valuable real estate assets to their children. This particular building is situated in Gangnam-gu, one of the three major business districts in Seoul, and the most modern one. Most office buildings in Gangnam were built after 1990.

As luck would have it in this very active Seoul office market, two very comparable sales were found to have occurred in the last month within 2 blocks of the subject, and a third comparable sale was found about one mile west, having occurred three months ago. All were very similar office buildings less than 15 stories in height.

The last measured office vacancy rate in Gangnam was 4.2%, office building sales are amazingly active, and Seoul is a surprisingly easy place to appraise office buildings.