Chinese, Canadians, and Mexicans: Top Foreign Buyers in April 2016–March 2017

Published Friday, September 1, 2017
by Scholastica (Gay) Cororaton

Despite the slowdown in Chinese economic growth and tighter regulations on outflows of foreign exchange, Chinese foreign buyers remained as the top foreign buyer of U.S. residential property, according to NAR’s recently released 2017 Profile of International Activity in U.S. Residential Real Estate.

Chinese buyers accounted for 14 percent of all foreign buyers[1], followed by Canada (12 percent), Mexico (10 percent), India (5 percent), and the United Kingdom (5 percent).[2] As the chart below shows, the percentage of Chinese buyers to all foreign buyers has considerably increased (9 percent in 2010 to 14 percent in 2017) while the combined share of Canadian and U.K. buyers has greatly decreased (32 percent in 2010 to 15 percent in 2017). Strong economic growth in China fueled by exports and foreign direct investments and the appreciation of the yuan from 2008 through 2015 likely account for the sharp increase in Chinese foreign buyer purchases.


For the third consecutive year, Chinese foreign buyers were the top buyers in terms of the number of units purchased and in dollar volume, purchasing $31.7 billion worth of residential property. Canadian buyers purchased $19 billion of residential property; U.K. buyers, $9.5 billion; Mexican buyers, $9.3 billion; and Indian buyers, $7.8 billion.

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