As the largest economy in the world and a land of immigrants, the United States (U.S.) attracts people from across the globe who want to live, work, and study here. International clients are an important market niche served by REALTORS®.
Since 2009, the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) has conducted an annual survey of its members to measure the volume of U.S. residential real estate transactions with international clients; gather information on the origin, destination, and buying preferences of international clients; and identify the challenges and opportunities faced by REALTORS® in serving foreign clients.
The 2023 Profile of International Transactions in U.S. Residential Real Estate presents information regarding REALTOR® transactions with international clients who purchased and sold U.S. residential property during the 12-month period of April 2022–March 2023.
This report is based on an online survey that was conducted from April 3–May 8, 2023. The survey was sent to 150,000 randomly selected REALTORS® and to members of local associations, which also conducted surveys of foreign buyers.1 To correct for over/under-sampling at the state level, NAR weighted the distribution of responses to the distribution of NAR members by state as of May 2023. A total of 7,425 REALTORS® responded to the national market survey, of which 951 reported an international residential foreign buyer. Information about the characteristics of international clients is based on the most recent closed transactions of the respondents during the 12-month period.
The term international or foreign client refers to two types of clients:
- Non-resident foreigners (Type A): Non-U.S. citizens with permanent residences outside the U.S.
- Resident foreigners (Type B): Non-U.S. citizens who are recent immigrants (less than two years at the time of the transaction) or non-immigrant visa holders who reside for more than six months in the U.S. for professional, educational, or other reasons.
The number of foreign buyers and the number of properties purchased are used interchangeably in this report under the assumption that one foreign buyer purchased one property.
- $53.3 Billion – Dollar volume of foreign buyer residential purchases during April 2022–March 2023 (2.3% of $2.3 trillion of the dollar volume of existing-home sales)
- 84,600 – Number of foreign buyer existing-home purchases during April 2022–March 2023 (1.8% of 4.73 million existing-home sales)
- 51% – Foreign buyers who reside in the United States (recent immigrants; less than two years at the time of the transaction) or non-immigrant visa holders (Type B)
- $396,400 – Foreign buyer median purchase price (compared to $384,200 for all U.S. existing homes sold)
- 42% – Foreign buyers who paid all-cash (compared to 26% among all existing-home buyers)
- 50% – Foreign buyers who purchased a property for use as a vacation home, rental, or both (compared to 16% among all existing-home buyers)
- 76% – Foreign buyers who purchased a detached single-family home or townhome (compared to 89% of all existing-home buyers)
- 45% – Foreign buyers who purchased in a suburban area
Top Foreign Buyers
- China (13% of foreign buyers, $13.6 B)
- Mexico (11% of foreign buyers, $4.2 B)
- Canada (10% of foreign buyers, $6.6 B)
- India (7% of foreign buyers, $3.4 B)
- Colombia (3% of foreign buyers, $0.9 B)
- Florida (23%)
- California (12%)
- Texas (12%)
- North Carolina (4%)
- Arizona (4%)
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1 Responses from oversample surveys of the Raleigh Regional Association of REALTORS®, Mainstreet Organization of REALTORS®, Long Island Board of REALTORS®, Hudson Gateway Association of REALTORS®, and Texas REALTORS® were added to the national random sample. The total set of responses was weighted by the distribution across states of NAR members with a primary specialization in residential real estate.