Approximately 31 percent of REALTOR® respondents reported working with international clients, according to NAR’s recently released 2016 Profile of International Activity in U.S. Residential Real Estate. This is a decrease from the 34 percent share in the previous 12-month period. The slowdown in economic growth in many countries, the strengthening of the U.S. dollar against many foreign currencies, and the sustained increase in U.S. home prices made U.S. residential real estate less affordable to foreign buyers.
Seventeen percent of respondents had one to two foreign clients and five percent of respondents had six or more foreign clients.
As is the case with potential domestic buyers, not all international clients will end up purchasing a property. “Could not find property” accounted for 18 percent of all reasons cited by the respondents why the client ended up not purchasing a property. “Cost of property” and “exchange rate” accounted for 22 percent. Finance-related reasons such as “could not obtain financing” and “cannot move money” accounted for 21 percent of the reasons cited by the respondents. Other reasons are related to immigration laws (mainly that the buyer cannot stay in the U.S. for more than six months), exposure to U.S. tax laws (if and when the buyer decides to sell the property), and costs and maintenance fees. “Other” reasons include personal reasons such as the buyer deciding to rent instead of purchasing, or purchasing in another area.