Foreign-Born Population: An Increasing Potential Base of Homeowners

The foreign-born population accounts for approximately 13 percent of the total U.S. population, up from about 5 percent in 1960.  California, New York, New Jersey, Florida, and Nevada are the top states in which the foreign born comprise approximately 20 percent of the population.

What this means for REALTORS®: U.S. foreign born residents tend to place a high value on homeownership, frequently purchasing homes significantly above the median price.  This is a growing and potentially profitable market, generally with sound prospects for home ownership. Information on the characteristics of the foreign-born is available at

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. Rodney D. Hetzel

    How do I help a foreign buyer an IRS Tax Payer ID Number? The buyer has 30% down payment but cannot get mortgage with out this Tax ID Number.

  2. T.J. Doyle, Marketing & Communications Manager

    Rodney, have you contacted the IRS?

  3. If the individual is not a US resident the they must apply for a “taxpayer Id Number” referred to as a TIN on form W7. instructions are included with the form. I they are a legal resident of the US they should have social security number. If they have not applied fo one yet then social security administration is the place to go.

  4. Rodney D. Hetzel

    I did go to the Mian IRS Office in Dallas aand they say the only way to get the TIN is to file a tax return, atr that time the number will be issued.