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International Transactions in U.S. Residential Real Estate

Since 2009, the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) has diligently conducted an annual survey among its members. This survey serves a dual purpose: to gauge the volume of residential real estate transactions involving international clients in the U.S. and to provide insights into the preferences, origins, destinations, and challenges encountered by REALTORS® when serving foreign clients.

The latest findings from the 2023 Profile of International Transactions in U.S. Residential Real Estate encapsulate REALTOR® transactions with international clients who engaged in the purchase and sale of U.S. residential properties from April 2022 to March 2023.

This comprehensive report stems from an online survey conducted between April 3 and May 8, 2023. Delivered to 150,000 randomly selected REALTORS® and local association members, the survey facilitated a thorough understanding of the dynamics at play in this segment. To ensure accuracy, NAR meticulously weighted responses according to the distribution of NAR members across states as of May 2023. Among the 7,425 REALTORS® who participated in the national market survey, 951 reported dealings with international residential foreign buyers. The data regarding international client characteristics stems from the respondents' most recent closed transactions during the 12-month period.

The term "international or foreign client" refers to two distinct categories:

  1. Non-resident foreigners (Type A): Non-U.S. citizens with permanent residences outside the U.S.

  2. Resident foreigners (Type B): Non-U.S. citizens who are recent immigrants (less than two years at the time of the transaction) or non-immigrant visa holders residing in the U.S. for professional, educational, or other reasons, exceeding six months.

Throughout this report, the number of foreign buyers and the number of properties purchased are used interchangeably, considering the assumption that each foreign buyer acquired one property.

Key Insights

  • $53.3 Billion: The dollar volume of residential purchases by foreign buyers during April 2022–March 2023 (constituting 2.3% of the $2.3 trillion dollar volume of existing-home sales).

  • 84,600: The count of foreign buyer existing-home purchases during April 2022–March 2023 (making up 1.8% of the 4.73 million existing-home sales).

  • 51%: The proportion of foreign buyers residing in the United States (Type B).

  • $396,400: The median purchase price for foreign buyers (in comparison to $384,200 for all U.S. existing homes sold).

  • 42%: The percentage of foreign buyers making all-cash transactions (compared to 26% among all existing-home buyers).

  • 50%: The ratio of foreign buyers acquiring properties for vacation homes, rentals, or both (versus 16% among all existing-home buyers).

  • 76%: The share of foreign buyers purchasing detached single-family homes or townhomes (versus 89% of all existing-home buyers).

  • 45%: The proportion of foreign buyers making purchases in suburban areas.

Top Foreign Buyers and Destinations

Top Countries of Foreign Buyers:

  1. China (13%)

  2. Mexico (11%)

  3. Canada (10%)

  4. India (7%)

  5. Colombia (3%)

Top Destinations:

  1. Florida (23%)

  2. California (12%)

  3. Texas (12%)

  4. North Carolina (4%)

  5. Arizona (4%)

This comprehensive overview sheds light on the dynamic landscape of international real estate transactions within the United States, revealing intriguing patterns and preferences among foreign buyers and their chosen destinations.

Source: National Association of REALTORS® (NAR)

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