Foreign Home Buyers Continue to Identify U.S. as Profitable Investment, Realtors® Report

Foreign Home Buyers Continue to Identify U.S. as Profitable Investment, Realtors® Report


According to the National Association of Realtors® 2013 Profile of International Home Buying Activity, interest in U.S. properties continues to grow, signaling that America continues to be regarded by international buyers as a great place to own property. International sales have declined a bit in the past year, but are at their second highest level in recent years. Difficult economic conditions, particularly in Europe, have impacted foreign buyers abroad and here at home tightened credit standards and low housing inventories have made finding a house more difficult. However none of these factors appear to be permanent. Total international sales were $68.2 billion, with 51% of foreign buyers with permanent residences outside the U.S. and 49% who are recent immigrants or temporary visa holders.

Five states made up 61 percent of reported purchases; Florida (23 percent), California (17 percent), Arizona (9 percent), Texas (9 percent) and New York (3 percent). About half of foreign buyers preferred to purchase in a suburban area, while a quarter preferred a more central city/urban area. A majority purchased a detached single-family home and 63 percent used all-cash. Based on the reported international transactions, the mean and median prices of purchases were higher when compared to purchase prices of domestic buyers. For the 12 months ending March 2013 the median international home price was $275,862 and for domestic buyers it was $179,867. The types of homes purchased by international buyers frequently tended to be different from the types of homes purchased by domestic U.S. buyers. “Some are looking for trophy properties while others are interested in modest vacation homes,” said  NAR President Gary Thomas. International buyers are more likely to be substantially wealthier and looking for a property in a specialized niche. International buyers also tend to cluster in locations based on their origin and many other factors including proximity to home country, relatives and friends, jobs, education and climate.


“Realtors® provide international buyers with a significant advantage when purchasing property in the U.S.. Realtors® who have earned NAR’s Certified International Property Specialist designation have received specialized training and are well prepared to service the international market,” said Thomas.Source:, News-releases, 2013, Foreign Buyers Leanne High


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