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Real Estate Market Trends: International Home Buyers Cashing in on U.S. Market

Florida  California, Texas and Arizona account for 55 percent of total reported real estate purchases by international buyers.

| BY Donald Liebenson

All real estate is local, an industry maxim states, but a new real estate market trends report issued by the National Association of Realtors finds that “a significant share of home purchases are made by people whose primary residence is outside of the U.S.”

For the period April 2013 through March 2014 total international sales have been estimated at $92.2 billion, an increase from $68.2 billion from the previous comparable period. In 2014, nearly 60 percent of reported international transactions were all cash, compared to only one-third of domestic purchases.

“Foreign buyers are being enticed to U.S. real estate because of what they recognize as attractive process, economic stability, and an incredible opportunity for investment in their future,” Steve Brown, NAR President, noted in a statement.

Four states accounted for a majority of the total reported purchases, the real estate market trends report finds. Florida remains the destination of choice, claiming nearly one-fourth of all foreign purchases. California ranks second with 14 percent, followed by Texas (12 percent) and Arizona (6 percent).

Los Angeles, Miami, Las Vegas, Orlando and New York City are the top five cities searched online by international buyers, according to real estate market trends tracked by

Canada, China, Mexico, India, and the U.K. accounted for 54 percent of foreign sales, the NAR report states. What are the factors that influence where international home buyers decide to purchase abroad? Things are much the same all over: the presence of relatives and friends, job and educational opportunities, and climate and location. But the National Association of Realtors’ real estate market trends report does find some distinct considerations considered by international buyers.

European buyers are generally drawn to states with warmer climates, while Asian buyers tend to gravitate toward the West Coast, the report finds. Indian buyers look toward states that are home to large information technology companies, such as California, New York and North Carolina.

Related story: Chinese Millionaires are leaving their home country

About the Author

Donald Liebenson

Donald Liebenson writes news and features for Millionaire Corner. He has been published in the Chicago Tribune, The Chicago Sun-Times, The Los Angeles Times, Fiscal Times, Entertainment Weekly, Huffington Post, and other outlets. He has also served as a marketing writer for Chicago-based Questar Entertainment and distributor Baker & Taylor.  

A graduate of the University of Southern California, he is married with a college-age son. He also writes extensively about entertainment.