International investment in residential real estate has taken a sharp downward turn according to the National Association of Realtors, which found that foreign buyers purchased $53.3 billion worth of U.S. existing homes from April 2022-March 2023. That marks a 9.6 percent decline from the previous 12-month period.
Foreign buyers purchased 84,600 properties, down 14.2 percent from the prior year and the fewest number of homes bought since 2009, when NAR began tracking this data. The cause, much like for national buyers, is of course low inventory.
“Sharply lower housing inventory in the U.S. and higher borrowing costs across the world have dented international buyers for two straight years,” said NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun. “However, recovering international travel following the end of the pandemic will bring more foreign transactions in coming months and years.”
The average ($639,900) and median ($396,400) existing-home sales prices among international buyers were the highest ever recorded by NAR. At $1.23 million, Chinese buyers had the highest average purchase price, with a third purchasing property in California.
For the 15th consecutive year, Florida remained the top destination for foreign buyers, accounting for 23 percent of all international purchases. California and Texas tied for second, followed by North Carolina, Arizona and Illinois.
In all, 15 percent of foreign buyers purchased properties worth more than $1 million from April 2022-March 2023. All-cash sales accounted for 42 percent of international buyer transactions compared to 26 percent of all existing-home buyers.