Foreign home-buying in the U.S. leaped 49 percent to $153 billion in the last year, a record high in the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) Profile of International Activity in U.S. Residential Real Estate, recently released for 2017. The boost came as activity from Canada exploded to $19 billion, with buyers from China, India, Mexico and the UK also contributing considerable volume.
“The political and economic uncertainty both here and abroad did not deter foreigners from exponentially ramping up their purchases of U.S. property over the past year,” says Lawrence Yun, chief economist at NAR. “While the strengthening of the U.S. dollar in relation to other currencies and steadfast home price growth made buying a home more expensive in many areas, foreigners increasingly acted on their beliefs that the U.S. is a safe and secure place to live, work and invest.”
All told, foreign buyers purchased 284,455 U.S. homes from 2016 to 2017, with a sizable share of transactions taking place in California, Florida and Texas. Activity on the part of resident foreigners and non-resident foreigners both expanded—the former up 32 percent to $78.1 billion, and the latter up 72 percent to $74.9 billion.
Buyers from China comprised $31.7 billion of the total volume between 2016 and 2017, followed by Canada, the UK at $9.5 billion, Mexico at $9.3 billion and India at $7.8 billion. Home-buying activity originating from Canada was concentrated in Florida, while activity originating from China was focused in California and activity originating from Mexico occurred in Texas.