Florida in High Demand for Foreign Homebuyers

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United States home-buying by foreigners increased by a substantial 49 percent to $153 billion in the last year, which signifies a record high in the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) Profile of International Activity in U.S. Residential Real Estate released for 2017. The increase resulted as activity from Canada soared to $19 billion, with buyers from China, India, Mexico and the UK also contributing to the increase.

“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.”

According to the totals from the report, foreign buyers purchased 284,455 United States homes from 2016 to 2017, with a substantial share of transactions taking place in California, Florida and Texas. Activity by resident foreigners increased by 32 percent to $78.1 billion and activity by non-resident foreigners increased by 72 percent to $74.9 billion.

“Although non-resident foreign purchases climbed over the past year, it appears much of the activity occurred during the second half of 2016,” Yun says. “REALTORS® in some markets are reporting that the effect of tighter regulations on capital outflows in China and weaker currencies in Canada and the UK have somewhat cooled non-resident foreign buyer interest in early 2017.”

Buyers from China represented $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 from Canada was focused primarily on Florida, while activity from China was focused in California and activity from Mexico was focused primarily on Texas.