International buyers are now a lucrative segment of the U.S. Real Estate market. If you want to target these clients, check out the latest statistics compiled by the National Association of Realtors for 2013.
- Foreign buyers account for 6.3 percent of the $1 trillion-plus residential market. They're responsible for about $68.2 billion of the activity in the 12 months ending March 2013.
- Most international buyers come from Canada, China, Mexico and the United Kingdom. Although they may look for homes in any state, the top locations include Florida, California, Arizona and Texas. Most sales are clustered in warm weather states. However, the origins of buyers depend on the state they're looking in. For example, Canadians look to Florida and Arizona, which is popular with northern vacationers. Asians focus on California, which is more accessible to countries in the Pacific. Europeans concentrate on the East Coast states of Florida and New York.
- The biggest purchases are for single-family homes. Among the features that foreign buyers prefer are multiple or stand-alone master suites to accommodate extended families with many adults, locations near major colleges and universities for those going to school, and the ease of renting out their properties for buyers who can remain in the country for a short periods due to their visas.
- Many buyers depend on website descriptions with photographs and videos to get their impressions of a property. Not surprisingly, they want to deal with agents who are fluent in their native tongues and familiar with their cultural preferences. Personal recommendations and agent representatives in their own countries are also highly valued.