International Interest in U.S. Homeownership Increases

From International homebuyers are increasingly attracted to property in the United States, according to the National Association of Realtors®’ 2010 Profile of International Home Buying Activity. Several factors, including the strength of the dollar, the value and desirability of U.S. real estate, and the emerging economic recovery, continue to drive international interest in owning a home in this country.Slightly more than a quarter of Realtors®, 28 percent, reported working with at least one international client in the past year. This is a significant increase from the 2009 report, when 23 percent of Realtors® worked with foreign clients. Eighteen percent of all Realtors® were estimated to have completed at least one sale, compared to 12 percent last year.

International buyers came from 53 different countries around the world. The top four countries were Canada, Mexico, the U.K. and China/Hong Kong. With 23 percent of international buyers coming from Canada, the country has remained the largest buying group in the past three years. Foreign buyers from Mexico have been steadily increasing. In 2010 Mexico replaced the U.K. as the second largest buying group with 10 percent of buyers. Buyers from the U.K. decreased from 10.5 percent in 2009 to nine percent in 2010. Eight percent of recent buyers came from China/Hong Kong.

Two factors important to international clients when purchasing property in the U.S. are proximity to their home country and the convenience of air transportation.Florida typically attracts European, Canadian and South American buyers while the East Coast draws Europeans. The West Coast brings Asian buyers and the Southwest attracts Mexicans.