International Buyers Spent $92.2 Billion on U.S. Properties

The number of international buyers purchasing U.S. real estate has significantly increased, according to fresh numbers from the National Association of Realtors.

From April 2013 to March 2014, sales of U.S. properties to people outside the country totaled $92.2 billion—up from $68.2 billion during the previous 12-month time period. The NAR attributes the impressive boost to friendly exchange rates, reasonable home prices and growing wealth in other nations.

“We live in an international marketplace, so while all real estate is local, that does not mean that all property buyers are,” said NAR President Steve Brown, co-owner of Irongate Inc. Realtors in Dayton, Ohio. “Foreign buyers are being enticed to U.S. real estate because of what they recognize as attractive prices, economic stability and an incredible opportunity for investment in their future.”

Where are the international buyers coming from? Canada made up the biggest share of purchases at 19 percent (down from 23 percent in 2013), followed by China at 16 percent, Mexico at 9 percent and India and the United Kingdom at 5 percent each.

Although homes were acquired throughout the country by international buyers, more than half of reported foreign purchases took place in four states: Florida (23 percent), California (14 percent), Texas (12 percent) and Arizona (6 percent). The top five cities searched online by international buyers in 2014 were Los Angeles, Miami, Las Vegas, Orlando and New York City.

Other NAR findings:

•Twenty-eight percent of realtors reported working with international clients.

•International buyers are more likely to make all-cash purchases than domestic buyers, with 60 percent of international sales in cash compared to one-third of domestic transactions.

•Most homes obtained by foreign buyers are used as primary residences (42 percent), with 65 percent of purchases involving a single-family home.

Article Compliments of Community Investor Magazine