The Impact of Foreign Buyers on the US Residential Real Estate Market

How Foreign Investors Impact US Real Estate Markets

The US real estate market has long been a magnet for both domestic and international investors seeking to capitalize on the diverse opportunities it offers. According to recent data from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) 2023 Profile of International Transactions in U.S. Residential Real Estate, foreign buyers have continued to play a significant role in shaping the landscape of real estate transactions in the country. The numbers from April 2022 to March 2023 paint an intriguing picture of their contributions.

Dollar Volume and Transactions

During the one-year period from April 2022 to March 2023, foreign buyers collectively contributed a staggering $53.3 billion to the residential real estate market. While this figure represents only 2.3% of the $2.3 trillion dollar volume of existing-home sales, it underscores the substantial impact these buyers have on the industry.

The number of foreign buyer existing-home purchases reached 84,600 during this timeframe, constituting 1.8% of the total 4.73 million existing-home sales. Although foreign buyers make up a relatively small portion of the market, their influence is undeniable.

The top countries contributing to foreign buyers’ presence in the US real estate market are China (13%), Mexico (11%), Canada (10%), India (7%), and Colombia (3%). These countries not only bring financial investment but also cultural diversity, enriching communities across the nation.

Profile of Foreign Buyers

One fascinating aspect of the data is the diversity within the foreign buyer demographic. A significant 51% of foreign buyers are individuals who reside in the United States, either as recent immigrants (within two years of the transaction) or non-immigrant visa holders. This suggests that the allure of US real estate is not limited to international investors living abroad.

The median purchase price for foreign buyers stands at $396,400, slightly higher than the median purchase price for all US existing homes sold ($384,200). Additionally, a substantial 42% of foreign buyers opted for all-cas

it distinct preferences when it comes to the usage and type of property they purchase. Notably, 50% of foreign buyers acquired properties for use as vacation homes, rentals, or a combination of both. This contrasts sharply with the 16% of all existing-home buyers who make similar purchases, emphasizing the unique objectives foreign buyers have in the market.

Furthermore, the data indicates that 76% of foreign buyers preferred detached single-family homes or townhomes, a slightly lower percentage compared to the 89% of all existing-home buyers who made similar choices. This suggests that while foreign buyers share certain preferences, they also contribute to the diversity of property types within the market.

Geographical Patterns

Geographically, the distribution of foreign buyers showcases notable patterns. A significant 45% of foreign buyers chose to invest in suburban areas, reflecting a desire for tranquility and space. This trend aligns with the evolving priorities of both domestic and international buyers seeking more spacious and less densely populated locations.

In terms of destinations, Florida takes the lead with 23% of foreign buyers choosing the Sunshine State. California and Texas follow closely behind with 12% each, while North Carolina and Arizona capture 4% each. These preferences shed light on the appeal of various states, driven by factors such as climate, economic opportunities, and lifestyle choices.


The data from the National Association of Realtors underscores the undeniable influence of foreign buyers on the US real estate market. While their numerical presence may be modest compared to domestic buyers, their financial contributions, unique preferences, and diverse backgrounds collectively contribute to the vibrancy and dynamism of the industry. As the market continues to evolve, the role of foreign buyers is set to remain a crucial factor in shaping its trajectory.

Discover the significant influence of foreign buyers on the US Real Estate Market. Understand their diverse backgrounds, unique preferences, and substantial financial contributions. Read about these trends and more in our detailed analysis here or contact us for more insights.

Voss Real Estate Advisors

August 11, 2023

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