The International Home Buyer: Expected Use

International home buyers are diverse group with a variety of interests.  Resident foreigners, including recent immigrants, typically look for a home for their residence – frequently in a suburb.  In contrast, non-resident foreigners more frequently look for vacation homes – typically in a resort.  The 2013 International Profile of Home Buying Activity presents information on the intended use by international buyers for the property they purchase.

  • Resident-foreigners generally intend to use the property as a home—71 percent focus on a residential use, compared with 25 percent intending to use the property for vacation use.  Resident foreigners frequently locate in suburban areas.
  • In contrast, non-resident foreigners expect by an 80 percent margin to use the property for vacation purposes, with 16 percent of purchasers focusing on primary use as a home.   Typically non-resident foreigners may be looking in a resort area.

What Does This Mean for REALTORS®?

The Profile outlines the international buyer as a niche market—although very significant in a number of states.  International buyers have special needs and interests when seeking a property.  The report and the NAR website contain information and data that may help the REALTOR® in understanding and working with the foreign buyer.

Jed Smith, Managing Director, Quantitative Research

Jed Smith is Managing Director, Quantitative Research with the National Association of Realtors®. He has worked on real estate issues for the past 20 years, providing input on a variety of housing, commercial real estate, tax, and planning issues. Recently he has been involved in several international studies.

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  1. This blog is really true, international buyers are diverse group and they have different interests. As a matter of fact, I have a friend in which she is looking also for a variety of houses since her interest is as unique as this houses being illustrated. Thank you for having posting this one.