Canadians, Chinese Target U.S. Real Estate

September 28, 2012

Canadians, Chinese, and Mexicans are flocking to U.S. real estate in droves. They’re looking for bargains on vacation homes.

Foreign purchases of homes in the U.S. have surged 24 percent since 2011, according to the National Association of REALTORS®. 

“Foreigners purchase for a variety of reasons: trophy homes, desire to put money in the U.S. for safety, desire to have a place to visit for vacation, desire for a rental unit,” Jed Smith, an NAR economist, told NBC News. “These factors … tend to dampen the effects of changes in total overall cost."

From March 2011 to March of this year, Canadians were found to be the leaders when it comes to snagging up U.S. real estate. They make up 24 percent of foreign sales in the U.S. The areas they mostly target? Miami, Fort Lauderdale, and Orlando, according to

Chinese make up about 11 percent of international transactions in the U.S., and mostly target areas in Los Angeles and San Francisco. 

Meanwhile, U.K. consumers may be driven to come to the U.S. for supersized properties. U.K. consumers have been found to be more drawn to McMansions and larger U.S. homes — targeting median size properties of 2,342 square feet compared to Americans who tend to target median 1,854 square feet, according to Trulia.

“The rest of the world might make fun of Americans for our big portions, big homes, but it turns out that most foreigners look at bigger homes than what most Americans look at,” Jed Kolko, Trulia chief economist, wrote in a blog last week.

Source: “Foreign Residential Invasion: Why the NEw Neighbors May Not Speak Your Language,” NBC News (Sept. 27, 2012)