How Secretive Shell Companies Shape The U.S. Real Estate Market

Screen Shot 2016-04-13 at 7.03.59 AM

The 11.5 million leaked documents of the Panama Papers have shone a spotlight on numerous anonymous companies that the world’s wealthy use to secretly manage their funds. These companies acted as fronts for high-profile politicians, celebrities and businessmen, allowing them to buy property, open bank accounts and trade assets without the public knowing their true identities – in some cases those of tax evaders, corrupt politicians and money launderers.

What many Americans might not realize is that foreign-owned shell companies play a big role in the U.S. economy through the real estate market. When purchased through a shell company, an offshore company or a trust, U.S. real estate offers wealthy foreigners a stable and secretive investment.

In the last quarter of 2015, 58 percent of all property purchases of more than $3 million in the United States were made by limited liability corporations, rather than named people. Altogether, those transactions totaled $61.2 billion, according to data from real estate database company Zillow. Since many of these companies are registered anonymously in the U.S. — often in states like Delaware, Nevada and Wyoming that offer secrecy and tax protections that rival traditional offshore destinations — it’s impossible to know just how many are owned by foreigners.

At Gay Realty Watch, we look for news to share with you about the gay real estate market – both lgbt real estate news and news specific to gay and lesbian real estate meccas.

Authored By Ana Swanson
See the Full Story at The Washington Post

Click here for gay realtors, mortgage lenders, and other real estate professionals in AREA

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *