There were slightly fewer international buyers (-1.8%) looking to buy homes in the US in Q3 than in Q2 2018 but international buyers are still looking. Where are these buyers from and where are they looking to buy?

Canada and the United Kingdom continue to initiate the majority of home searches but there is increasing interest from Brazilians, Mexicans, South Koreans, Japanese and Chinese.

Foreign investors tend to prefer big cities (New York, Los Angeles, Chicago) and/or sunny markets (Miami, Orlando, Fort Lauderdale, Tampa and West Palm Beach.) Snowbirds and retirees from Canada tend to prefer Fort Lauderdale (21.9%), Tampa (19.5%) and West Palm Beach (25.1%). Miami and Orlando are popular with Brazilians. In fact, Brazilians make up nearly one third of all foreign searches of Orlando properties.

The top metros with the largest share of searches from Brazil were

  • Los Angeles – 7.6%
  • New York – 8.7%
  • Orlando – 15.6%
  • Miami – 8.1%

The top countries for foreign home searches in Q3 2018 were

Country             Share/All Searches           Most Searched Metro

  1. Canada                 9.5%                        Los Angeles – 7.5%
  2. United Kingdom     7.7%                        Los Angeles – 15.8%
  3. Brazil                    6.1%                        Orlando – 15.6%
  4. Germany               5.2%                        Los Angeles – 8.3%
  5. Mexico                  5.0%                        San Diego – 10.2%
  6. South Korea          4.2%                        Los Angeles – 9.8%

Many industry watchers say that Tesler’s First Law of Geography stating, “near things are more related to distant things” holds true when foreign investors initiate home searches in the US. San Diego and Houston receive high search rates from Mexico. Buffalo receives high search rates from Canadians. Also, the greatest share of foreign visits to Atlanta comes from South Korea due to Atlanta’s thriving Korean population.

Metros with the highest share of foreign views in Q3 2018 were

Metro                 share of searches               country of origin

New York                   10.7%                        United Kingdom – 8.5%

Los Angeles                 9.9%                        United Kingdom – 12.3%

Miami                          3.6%                        Brazil – 13.7%

Orlando                       3.0%                        Brazil – 31.9%

Fort Lauderdale            2.2%                        Canada – 21.9%

Chicago                        2.1%                       United Kingdom – 6.7%

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