Florida, Texas, and California: Top State Destinations Among Foreign Buyers in April 2016–March 2017

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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.