Foreign Investors


Despite potential risks such as a depressed housing market, dealing with foreign laws, fluctuating exchange rates, etc., cross-border investment is expected to accelerate as domestic investors seek high returns abroad and foreign investors take advantage of a weakened dollar. The steadily rising influx of capital into U.S. markets and limited supply of product have altered the way the game is played.


We've already done the research for you. References (formerly Field Guides) offer links to articles, eBooks, websites, statistics, and more to provide a comprehensive overview of perspectives. EBSCO articles (E) are available only to NAR members and require a password.

Ranking of U.S. Cities for Real Estate Investment (2017)

  • New York City, NY
  • Los Angeles, CA
  • Boston, MA
  • Seattle, WA
  • San Francisco, CA

Source: 2017 AFIRE Annual Foreign Investment Survey

Foreign Investment Trends​ in the U.S.

Global Effort to Curb Chinese Investment, (REALTOR® Magazine, June 8, 2018)

Chinese investment in the United States dropped 36% last year, (CNN Money, Apr. 10, 2018)

Foreign Buyers Coming to U.S. Are Changing, (REALTOR® Magazine, Mar. 5, 2018)

International Investment in U.S. Real Estate on the Rise, (Post and Courier, Jan. 20, 2018)

U.S. Real Estate Remains Top Draw for Foreign Investors, (The Investor, Sept. 12, 2017)

Foreign real estate investment in U.S. declined in the last year (link is external), (Housingwire, July 6, 2016)

How International Issues Affect Foreign Investment in U.S. Real Estate (link is external), (USNews, May 27, 2016)

Why Washington Is Making It Easier For Rich Foreigners To Buy U.S. Real Estate (link is external), (Forbes, Feb. 3, 2016)

U.S. Real Estate to Draw More Foreigners in 2016, Survey Says (link is external), (Bloomberg, Jan. 3, 2016)

How Do Foreign Buyers Decide on a U.S. Location for a Home Purchase?, (Economist Outlook, July 13, 2015)

Profile of International Home Buying Activity, (National Association of REALTORS® - Research, June 17, 2015)

Chinese Dominate as Buyers of U.S. Real Estate, (REALTOR® Magazine, June 19, 2015)

Foreign Buyers Spend More on U.S. Real Estate, (REALTOR® Magazine, June, 18, 2015)

Chinese Buyers Replace Canadians as Top Foreign Buyers of U.S. Homes (link is external), (Wall Street Journal, June 17, 2015)

New York Real Estate Overpoweringly Attracts Local and Global Investment (link is external), (Huffington Post, June 5, 2015)

Optimism Grows as Foreign Investment in U.S. Real Estate Surges (link is external), (National Mortgage News, June 4, 2015)

8 Countries Where There's a Rush for U.S. Real Estate, (REALTOR® Magazine, Apr. 15, 2014)

Foreign buyers show interest in Pacific Northwest ranches (link is external), (The Idaho Business Review, Apr. 1, 2014) E

Hooks and Hurdles for Chinese Investors in the U.S., (REALTOR® Magazine, Feb. 2014)

US dominates list for foreign real estate investors (link is external), (CNBC, Jan. 7, 2014)

Foreign Home Buyers Continue to Identify U.S. as Profitable Investment, Realtors® Report, (National Association of REALTORS®, June 14, 2013)

The 2012 NAR Profile of International Home Buying Activity, (National Association of REALTORS® - Research, 2012)

Economy Watch: U.S. Still Number One Among Foreign CRE Investors (link is external), (MHN Online, Jan. 2, 2012)

U.S. is top 2012 property investment pick (link is external), (Reuters, Jan. 1, 2012)

International Investors Look to U.S. Real Estate (link is external), (Reit, Dec. 21, 2011)

Reforms to the Foreign Investment Real Property Tax Act Will Spur Investment, Create Jobs and Encourage Economic Growth (link is external), (Capital Markets, June 23, 2011)

Foreign Investors Hover Over U.S. Real Estate, But Few Swoop In (link is external), (CoStar Group, Sept. 15, 2010)

German firms scour U.S. for deals---commercial property is scooped up at discounted prices as market wobbles (link is external), (Wall Street Journal, Oct. 28, 2009)

Why foreign investment lags in U.S. apartments sector (link is external), (National Real Estate Investor, July 2009).

Foreign activity one bright spot in market (link is external), (Pensions & Investments, Mar. 9, 2009) E

Foreign investors: An unexpected financing source in a contracting real estate marketplace (link is external), (Real Estate Finance, Oct. 2008) E

U.S. home prices lure foreigners (link is external), (Wall Street Journal, May 27, 2008)

Foreign investment in U.S. real property (link is external), (The CPA Journal, Dec. 2007) E

Investing in Foreign Markets

Why The Best Investment In 2016 Might Be Global Real Estate (link is external), (Forbes, Jan. 5, 2016)

How Foreign Real Estate Investors Are Changing Canada's Skyline (link is external), (Forbes, June 17, 2015)

Americans are scooping up real estate bargains... overseas (link is external), (CNN Money, May 15, 2015)

You Too Can Be a Global Real Estate Investor (link is external), (New York Times, Feb. 9, 2015)

Where International Real Estate Is Booming (link is external), (Investopedia, Nov. 13, 2014)

Top 10 international places to invest in real estate (link is external), (CBS News, Sept. 6, 2014)

Is Now The Time To Buy International Real Estate? (link is external), (Forbes, Aug 20, 2013)

China beats US as top destination for foreign investment (link is external), (GlobalPost, Oct. 26, 2012)

Things You Must Know Before Investing in Overseas Real Estate Market (link is external), (Real Estate India, July 11, 2011)

India tops real estate investment market list in Asia for 2010 (link is external), (Indian Realty News, Dec. 15, 2009)

International real estate investment: What investors should know (link is external), (NuWire Investors, Mar. 8, 2008)

Investing in foreign real estate goes mainstream (link is external), (Kiplinger, Dec. 2006)

Useful Websites

Association of Foreign Investors in Real Estate (AFIRE) (link is external)—Provides information and research on foreign investment trends in real estate.

U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (link is external)—Advocates and promotes international real estate investments. Provides an forum for investors to meet and exchange information through regularly scheduled meetings in the United States and Europe.

eBooks & Other Resources

The following Books and digital audiobooks are available to NAR members:

Global Real Estate Investment Trusts, (eBook, Kindle)

Passport to Exotic Real Estate, (eBook, Kindle)

How to Invest In Offshore Real Estate and Pay Little or No Taxes, (eBook)

International Real Estate Handbook, (eBook)

No Going Back - Buying Abroad, (eBook)

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The inclusion of links on this page does not imply endorsement by the National Association of REALTORS®. NAR makes no representations about whether the content of any external sites which may be linked in this page complies with state or federal laws or regulations or with applicable NAR policies. These links are provided for your convenience only and you rely on them at your own risk.


The CIPS Designation

The CIPS designation provides NAR members with the knowledge, research, network, and tools to globalize their business.