We know that international real estate buyers are a big part of the U.S. real estate business. According to a study in the National Association of REALTORS®’ October edition of the Global Perspectives report, foreign buyers purchased $121 billion of residential property from April 2017 to March 2018. This represented 288,600 transactions, slightly down but comparable to the previous 12 month period.
But who are these buyers and where do they come from? Here’s the top five, starting with number five:
5. Mexico – $4.2 billion in residential purchases.
What a surprise! Our neighbor to the south is in the top five worldwide buyers of American property. 43% bought in central city/urban areas, a higher percentage than other foreign buyers. Nearly 75% have established legal residency. The most popular state for Mexican purchasers? The Lone Star State of Texas. Yee-Haw!
4. India $7.2 billion in residential purchases.
The vast majority (87%) of foreign buyers from India have established U.S. residencies. Their purchases were more evenly spread across the country, but buyers in the 11-20% range thought Californee was the place they wanna be. 86% purchased primary residences.
3. United Kingdom $7.3 billion in residential purchases.
The non resident share of buyers from the UK has steadily declined over the last four years, from 61% to 37%. Property prices skewed to the higher end at a median of $396,200. Florida and California remain popular destinations but many other states remained popular, including Ohio (11%), Illinois (9%) and Arizona (7%).
2. Canada $10.5 billion in residential purchases.
Among the top five countries, Canadian buyers were least likely to be U.S. residents (72%) but who can blame them? 40% sought vacation properties, and Florida remained their #1 destination. Not far behind were Arizona (14%), California (9%), New York (5%), and Nevada (5%).
1. China 4.2 billion in residential purchases.
For the sixth consecutive year, buyers from China purchased more U.S. property than any other foreign buyers. They also chose the most expensive properties at a median price of $439,100. 45% bought primary residences, and 27% residential rental.
Global Property Systems says:
Along with facing supply shortages, higher U.S. home prices and increased competition with U.S. buyers, some international buyers were also challenged by higher prices related to currency fluctuations. Still, the numbers reflect a continued strength in international buyers and investors.
In the Hudson Valley, 60% of buyers purchasing or investing in properties sold by Global Property Systems came from overseas. This number has remained strong for several years. It remains to be seen what changes in immigration policies, including the EB-5 visa program for investors and President Trump’s executive actions, will affect property sales in the foreseeable future. Regardless, we plan to continue serving our global customer base, reaching them in 50 languages, in 150 countries.