- $92.2 Billion of purchases sold to foreign buyers, 12 months ending March 2014
- Sales split approximately 50/50 between resident and non-resident foreigners.
- Foreign sales approximately 7 percent of $1.2 Trillion EHS market.
- 28 percent of REALTORS® reported having international clients. Market is a niche market—a relatively few REALTORS® handle many of transactions: e.g., 4% of REALTORS® have 11 or more clients.
- Market fluctuates from year to year substantially; long term market trend is up: 20 percent of REALTORS® report market increasing over past 5 years compared to 6 percent reporting declining.
- Foreign buyers are upscale: Mean purchase price above that paid by domestic buyers.
- Five countries (Canada, China, Mexico, India, U.K.) accounted for 54 percent of foreign sales.
- Four states (Florida, California, Texas, Arizona) accounted for 55 percent of sales to foreigners.
- Foreign purchasers are diverse:
– Trophy properties
– Modest vacation homes
– Rental and investment properties
– Personal residences
- Prices paid cover a wide range: 46 percent less than $250,000; 9% greater than $1 million.
- 60 percent of purchasers paid cash
- Predominantly single family homes, although many condos also sold.
- Reasons for buying: Location (i.e., U.S.), investment, and security of property/legal system.
- Reasons for not buying: Cultural differences, lack of understanding of business and real estate practices, difficulties understanding the U.S. lifestyle, customs, and procedures. (Opportunity for REALTORS® to educate/work with clients to increase understanding).
- To supplement the survey, data obtained from realtor.com® concerning U.S. cities most frequently searched by foreigners over 4/2013 through 3/2014 time frame. Cities ranked as follows: Los Angeles, Miami, Las Vegas, Orlando, New York, Detroit, Houston, Ft. Lauderdale, Chicago, San Diego, Washington, D.C., Atlanta, and San Francisco.
– Canadian Searches: Las Vegas, Detroit, Los Angeles, Ft. Lauderdale, Miami, Orlando, Chicago, Naples.
– Chinese Searches: Los Angeles, San Francisco, Irvine, New York, Las Vegas, Detroit, Seattle, Miami, Orlando, Boston Anderson SC, Chicago, Houston, San Diego