Five states accounted for slightly more than half of all foreign buyers who purchased U.S. residential property in April 2016–March 2017: Florida (22 percent), Texas (12 percent), California (12 percent), New Jersey (four percent) and Arizona (four percent), according to NAR’s recently released 2017 Profile of International Activity in U.S. Residential Real Estate. Other preferred destinations were Illinois, North Carolina, Georgia, and New York.
Proximity to the home country, the presence of relatives, friends and associates, job and educational opportunities, and climate and location appear to be important considerations in deciding where to purchase a property. Florida and Arizona attracted buyers from Latin America, Europe, and Canada who tend to purchase properties in warm climates for vacation purposes. California and New Jersey drew Asian buyers, most likely for reasons related to geographic proximity, cultural similarities, and job opportunities. Texas, which is physically close to Latin America and home to a large Latino population, attracted buyers from Latin America and the Caribbean as well as Asian buyers.
Most Canadian buyers purchased residential property in Florida, Arizona, California, Texas, Georgia, Minnesota, and Nevada. Canadian buyers typically purchase properties for use as vacation homes, so they tend to locate in states with warm climates and resort areas. The increase in resident Canadian buyers may have helped put Minnesota on the list of major destinations in 2017.
More than a third of Chinese buyers purchased residential property in California, most likely because of its proximity to and cultural affinity with Asia. Texas, Florida, Illinois, New Jersey, Massachusetts, New York, Indiana, and Virginia were also preferred destinations.
Compared to other major foreign buyers, Indian buyers are not as concentrated in any state. While California, New Jersey, Texas, Massachusetts, and Kentucky were top destinations, more than two in five Indian buyers purchased in another state. Most Indian buyers purchased properties to use as a primary residence in these states where they most likely found jobs.
Most buyers from Mexico purchased properties in Texas and California, which are both geographically close to and have cultural similarity with Mexico. Other states in the South and West regions of the United States such as Arizona, Tennessee, Colorado, Florida, South Carolina, and Alabama were also major destinations.
U.K. buyers mainly purchased residential property for vacation use. Two-thirds of U.K. buyers purchased in the warm-weather states of Florida, Arizona, California, Texas, and Georgia.
REALTOR.com provides data on the market interest of global buyers searching for properties in the United States (see Global Buyers Searching in the United States).
 The term international or foreign client refers to two types of clients: Non-resident foreigners (Type A) who are non-U.S. citizens with permanent residences outside the United States, and who typically purchase property as an investment, for vacations, or other visits of less than six months to the United States; Resident foreigners (Type B) who are non-U.S. citizens who are recent immigrants (in the country less than two years at the time of the transaction) or temporary visa holders residing for more than six months in the United States for professional, educational, or other reasons.
Copyright NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®. Reprinted with permission.