The objective of this survey was to gather information about international residential real estate transactions of Mainstreet Organization of REALTORS® (MORe) members during April 2019–March 2020.
Dollar volume of foreign buyer purchases in the U.S.
- $3.43 billion (10% of MORe home sales)
- 76% of foreign buyers resided in the United States (Type B)
Regions of origin of foreign buyers in the U.S.
- Asia/Oceania (32%)
- Latin America (21%)
- Europe (21%)
- Africa (4%)
- North America (1%)
- Country was not identified by the respondent (20%)
Top countries of origin of foreign buyers in the U.S.
- Mexico (16%)
- India (13%)
- China (9%)
Top U.S. counties where foreign buyers purchased property
- Cook (43%)
- DuPage (25%)
- Lake (13%)
- Kane (6%)
- Will (6%)
- DeKalb (3%)
Median price of home purchased by foreign buyers in the U.S.
- $253,600 median purchase price among MORe foreign buyers
- $253,700 median price of MORe home sales
Financing Used by Foreign Buyers to Purchase Property in the U.S.
- 22% of foreign buyers paid all-cash
Intended Use of Property Purchased by Foreign Buyers in the U.S.
- 75% of foreign buyers purchased the property for primary residential use
Type of Property Purchased by Foreign Buyers in the U.S.
- 67% of foreign buyers purchased a single-family detached property
Location of Property Purchased by Foreign Buyers in the U.S.
- 80% of foreign buyers purchased a property in a suburban area
Major reasons foreign client decided not to purchase property in the U.S.
- Cost of property (14%
- Property taxes (13%)
- Could not find property (13%)
- Could not obtain financing (10%)
Source of leads/referrals
- 73% of referrals/leads about foreign buyers were personal/business contacts or former clients
International real estate business trends
- 14% of respondents worked with international clients, whether they closed a sale or not
- On average, respondents closed a sale with one foreign buyer
- 17% of respondents who had been in business for at least one year reported an increase in international business in the past five years
- 31% of respondents who had been in business for at least five years reported an increase in international business in the past five years
Sales transactions with foreign clients who sold property in the U.S.
- 3% of sales transactions involved a foreign client who sold U.S. property
- 48% of foreign sellers were Asians
- 48% of the sold properties were in Cook County
Percent of respondents who reported leasing transactions with clients from:
- Asia/Oceania (6%)
- North/Latin America (5%)
- Europe (3%)
- Africa (1%)
- Not identified/unknown (1%)
U.S. clients seeking property abroad
- 5% of respondents had U.S. clients who were seeking to purchase property abroad
- Of those who had clients, 60% were able to refer the client to a U.S. or foreign business contact or helped the client directly