NAR Region III Local Market Assessments: Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, District of Columbia, West Virginia


Don't be misled by Delaware's size. Although the second-smallest state by area, Delaware is the sixth-most densely populated state in the country, helping to support a strong workforce—critical to foreign companies considering basing their U.S. operation in the state. The biggest attraction, however, may be Delaware's lenient tax policies and business practice laws and the renowned Court of Chancery—a separate court system specifically for handling corporate cases. Add to this its strategic location, with efficient access to all east coast hubs, and it's no surprise that foreign entities find Delaware an attractive destination.

These and other factors provide global business opportunities for Delaware REALTORS®. Consider the following steps to identify and pursue an international real estate niche to grow your business.

Pie chart: Top Sources of Foreign Direct Investment in Delaware


Located in the heart of the Mid-Atlantic region, Maryland is well-suited to supporting global business. Water plays a major role and accounts for 21% of the state's territorial jurisdiction—primarily the northern half of the Chesapeake Bay, whose busy shipping channel is an important transit route for cargo ships entering or leaving the Port of Baltimore.

Also supporting global business is the state's strong economy (ranked #8 by 24/7 Wall St. in 2020), diverse population and highly qualified workforce, which ranks #10 nationally for productivity. Maryland REALTORS® can take advantage of the state's proactive efforts to attract global operations through traditional incentives and innovative strategies such as its “soft landing” program, which allows companies to test out new markets.

Use the information in this report to create a global business strategy that leverages Maryland's advantages.

Pie chart: Top Sources of Foreign Direct Investment in Maryland


Home to the first permanent English settlement in North America, the Commonwealth of Virginia has been engaging in foreign business ever since. While relatively small in land mass, the state ranks #12 in the country for population. Despite being located on the U.S. Eastern Seaboard, roughly half of the U.S. population lives within 500 miles of its capital city, Richmond.

Numerous diverse industries support the state's economy, including the largest data center market in the U.S., serving national and global markets. In 2023, CNBC ranked Virginia as the #2 top state for business. Its robust service sector is helping to grow Virginia's economy, supported by the expansion of federal offices in Washington, D.C.'s Northern Virginia suburbs.

Use this report to devise a global business strategy that takes advantage of Virginia's strengths as an international business center.

Pie chart: Top Sources of Foreign Direct Investment in Virginia

District of Columbia

As the seat of the U.S. government, Washington, D.C., is a quintessential American city. Yet, as the home of more than 180 foreign embassies and numerous global organizations such as the Organization of American States, the District is very international in ways that extend well beyond politics and the global economy. Its highly educated workforce—many multi-lingual—help make Washington a destination for corporations looking to be in a market known for global thought leadership that drives global markets.

The Washington, D.C., market extends beyond the borders of the district, encompassing Northern Virginia and large swaths of western Maryland. While this report focuses solely on the district, REALTORS® serving the region will find the Virginia and Maryland reports useful. Use this report to explore factors that drive global business opportunities within the confines of our nation's capital.

Pie chart: Top Sources of Foreign Direct Investment in Washington, DC

West Virginia

West Virginia's abundant natural resources, such as coal, oil, natural gas and hardwood forests, fueled the state's industrial expansion in the 20th century. While mining remains a significant part of West Virginia's economy, with total energy production ranking fourth nationwide based on 2020 estimates, manufacturing is a mainstay in the drive for economic growth. West Virginia's principal manufactured products today are steel, chemicals and glass—supporting diverse industries.

Foreign companies find West Virginia a welcoming business base due to its low cost of doing business. Helping support business productivity is a small but fast-growing and well-educated group of immigrants.

Use the following steps as a guide to developing a business plan to tap into the global business opportunities in West Virginia.

Pie chart: Top Sources of Foreign Direct Investment in West Virginia

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