Nearly half of foreign buyers purchased a U.S. residential property located in a suburban area, according to NAR’s recently released 2016 Profile of International Activity in U.S. Residential Real Estate. Close to a third purchased a property in a central city/urban area, 14 percent in a small town/rural area, and eight percent in a resort area.
Non-resident foreign buyers more likely to purchase property in a resort area: 16 percent of non-resident foreign buyers purchased a resort property, while only three percent of resident foreign buyers purchased in a resort area.
Chinese and Indian foreign buyers (mostly resident foreign buyers) tended to purchase property in a suburban area. Foreign buyers from Canada and the United Kingdom (mostly non-resident foreign buyers) primarily purchased in a resort area. Foreign buyers from Mexico (mostly resident foreign buyers) often purchased in central city/urban and suburban areas.
 Non-resident foreigners are non-U.S. citizens with permanent residences outside the United States. These clients typically purchase property as an investment, for vacations, or other visits of less than six months to the United States. Resident foreigners are non-U.S. citizens who are recent immigrants (in the country less than two years at the time of the transaction) or temporary visa holders residing for more than six months in the United States for professional, educational, or other reasons.