Foreign buyers purchased $53.3 billion worth of U.S. existing homes from April 2022 through March 2023, slipping 9.6% from the previous 12-month period, according to a recent report from the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR). Foreign buyers purchased 84,600 properties, down 14.2% from the prior year and the fewest number of homes bought since 2009, the year NAR began tracking this data.
Lower housing inventory in the U.S. and higher borrowing costs worldwide have made a dent in the number of international buyers for two straight years. But, recovering international travel following the end of the pandemic, plus an improving economy, will ultimately bring more foreign transactions in the future.
NAR’s 2023 International Transactions in U.S. Residential Real Estate report surveyed members about transactions with international clients who purchased and sold U.S. residential property from April 2022 through March 2023. Foreign buyers who resided in the U.S. as recent immigrants, or held visas that allowed them to live in the U.S., purchased $23.4 billion worth of U.S. existing homes, a 31.4% decrease from the prior year, and representing 44% of the dollar volume of purchases. Foreign buyers who lived abroad purchased $29.9 billion worth of existing homes, up 20% from the 12 months prior and accounting for 56% of the dollar volume. International buyers accounted for 2.3% of the $2.3 trillion in existing-home sales during that period.
The average ($639,900) and median ($396,400) existing-home sales prices among international buyers were the highest ever recorded by NAR—and 7% and 8.3% higher, respectively, than the previous year. The increase in prices for foreign buyers reflects the rise in U.S. home prices, as the median sales price for all U.S. existing homes was $384,200. At $1.23 million, Chinese buyers had the highest average purchase price, with a third purchasing property in California. In total, 15% percent of foreign buyers purchased properties worth more than $1 million from April 2022 to March 2023.
China and Canada remained first and second in U.S. residential sales-dollar volume at $13.6 billion and $6.6 billion, continuing a trend going back to 2013. Mexico ($4.2 billion), India ($3.4 billion) and Colombia ($0.9 billion) rounded out the top five.
For the 15th consecutive year, Florida remained the top destination for foreign buyers, accounting for 23% of all international purchases. California and Texas tied for second (12% each), followed by North Carolina, Arizona and Illinois (4% each).
All-cash sales accounted for 42% of international buyer transactions, and half of foreign buyers purchased their property for use as a vacation home, rental property or both—up from 44% the previous year.
View the full 2023 International Transactions in the U.S. Residential Real Estate report here. For more information, visit https://www.nar.realtor/.