North Carolina among top states for foreign real estate investors

By Carolina Journal Staff

Raleigh, NC – North Carolina was in the top five states for residential real estate investors from other countries over the pat year. According to a new survey from the National Association of Realtors, investors from China spent the most of foreign investments on U.S. real estate, spending $6.1 billion last year.

(photo by Gene Galin)

Canada was second in U.S. residential sales dollar volume at $5.5 billion, followed by India ($3.6 billion) and Mexico ($2.9 billion). Brazil rounds out the top five with $1.6 billion. In total, foreign buyer residential purchases added up to $59 billion from April 2021 to March 2022, or 2.6% of the $2.3 trillion of dollar volume of existing-home sales. That is an 8.5% increase over last year, after three years of decline in home sales to foreign buyers.

For the 14th straight year, Florida remained the top destination for foreign buyers, accounting for 24% of all international purchases. California ranked second (11%), followed by Texas (8%), Arizona (7%), and New York and North Carolina, tied at 4%.

“Due to rising interest rates, overall home sales will decline in the U.S. this year. Foreign buyers, however, are likely to step up purchases, as those making all-cash offers will be immune from changes in interest rates,” said National Association of Realtors Chief Economist Lawrence Yun. “In addition, international flights have increased in recent months with the lifting of pandemic-related travel restrictions.”

The survey was NAR’s 2022 Profile of International Transactions in U.S. Residential Real Estate, in which NAR members were questioned about transactions with international clients who purchased and sold U.S. residential property from April 2021 through March 2022.

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International buyers accounted for 2.6% of the $2.3 trillion in existing-home sales during that time period, and the average price of a purchase was $598,200. Chinese buyers on average spent $1 million on a home, and a third of them purchased property in California, with 4% buying in North Carolina. The Tar Heel State also attracted 4% of buyers from Mexico and 7% of buyers from India.

In total, North Carolina attracted 4% of all foreign buyers. Thirty-eight percent of North Carolina’s foreign buyers were from Asia, and 25% were from Latin America/Caribbean.