Economists' Outlook

Housing stats and analysis from NAR's research experts.

More Foreign Buyers Purchased in Cities/Suburbs Than in Resort Areas

An increasing share of foreign buyers1 are purchasing property in a central city/suburban area, while fewer foreign buyers are purchasing property in a resort area, according to NAR’s recently released 2017 Profile of International Activity in U.S. Residential Real Estate. The percentage of foreign buyers purchasing property in a resort area has declined, while only 6% of resident foreign buyers purchased in a resort area. Among non-resident foreign buyers, only 13% purchased in a resort area compared to one percent among resident foreign buyers.


The declining percentage of foreign buyer purchases in resort areas can be traced to the decline in the share of Canadian and U.K. buyers who tend to purchase property for vacation use and/or to rent out.

Meanwhile, most Chinese, Indian, and Mexican foreign buyers, who are typically resident foreign buyers, tend to purchase property in a central city/urban or suburban area.

Among all major foreign buyers, Mexican and Canadian buyers were the most likely to purchase property in a rural area.


1 The term international or foreign client refers to two types of clients: Non-resident foreigners (Type A) who are non-U.S. citizens with permanent residences outside the United States, and who typically purchase property as an investment, for vacations, or other visits of less than six months to the United States; Resident foreigners (Type B) who 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.