NAR’s Profile of International Home Buying Activity is available on an annual basis, providing information on the 2 to 3 percent of the existing home sales made annually to foreigners. Data from the 2010, 2011, and 2012 reports indicate that Canadians constitute the biggest segment of the market, followed by Europeans, Asians, Central/South Americans, Chinese, and Mexicans.
Generally there are foreign buyers in most areas of the country. However, there are regional patterns.
- Europeans were focused on Florida, New York, California, and Texas.
- Chinese purchasers were most active in California, with additional property interests spread throughout the country.
- Central and South Americans focused on Florida (66 percent) and Texas (7 percent), with the rest of their purchases throughout the country.
- Canadians were active in Arizona (23 percent), California (10 percent) and Florida (46 percent).
- Mexican purchasers focused on Texas (44 percent), California (13 percent), and Arizona (11 percent), all states with close proximity.
What Does This Mean for REALTORS®?
Overall, the total number of foreign buyers is relatively limited, at slightly under 3 percent in terms of number of residential transactions. The bulk of the transactions are concentrated in a few states. REALTORS® approached by foreign buyers may benefit from reviewing some of the information provided by NAR’s Global Business and Alliances division concerning international sales: www.realtor.org/global. The 2012 Profile is available at http://www.realtor.org/reports/profile-of-international-home-buying-activity, and a 2013 report will be available later this year.