U.S. Foreign Property Investment - Statistics & Facts

Foreign property investment refers to the purchase of real estate by foreign nationals. It is a major source of investment in the United States and property sales to foreign buyers totaled 78 billion U.S. dollars in 2019. In recent years, the largest share of foreign residential buyers originated from China and Canada, followed by Mexico. Foreign buyers of U.S. real estate prefer properties in suburban areas to properties in small towns and central areas of major cities.

One potential explanation for the influx of foreign investment in real estate is the rising rental rates of multifamily homes in cities across America. For instance, rental rates for multifamily units in Las Vegas, Nevada increased by 7.9 percent between January 2018 and January 2019. In addition, a 2017 survey found that 61 percent of foreign buyers perceived that the housing prices in the United States were more expensive than prices in their respective home countries. Among foreign investors who did not purchase real estate in the United States, the most common reason for not doing so is that they were unable to find a suitable property to purchase.

The share of Chinese investors in the U.S. real estate market remained somewhat constant until 2018 when it hovered at around 15 percent, before dropping to 11 percent in 2019. In 2019, Chinese nationals purchased 19 thousand properties in the United States, generating about 13 billion U.S. dollars in sales .

In contrast to the relatively constant share of Chinese buyers in the U.S. real estate market, the share of Canadian buyers of residential property in the U.S. has decreased by about half since 2011. Despite this, in 2017 the total property sales to Canadian buyers in the United States reached 19 billion dollars, the highest amount in the last decade. However, this number had fallen to eight billion U.S. dollars by 2019.

Interesting statistics

In the following 7 chapters, you will quickly find the 37 most important statistics relating to "Foreign property investment in the U.S.".

Cross-border commercial real estate investment in the United States

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Important key figures

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Foreign buyers' perspective

Chinese buyers

Canadian buyers

U.K. buyers

Indian buyers

Mexican buyers


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