In 2014, sales transactions to buyers outside the U.S. dropped 10%. "However , the amount of money spent has increased. This means international buyers in the u.S. have become an upscale group of buyers, spending more on fewer homes", according to NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun.
55% of all international purchases were made with all-cash, compared to 25% by domestic buyers. Mortgage financing tends to be an issue for international buyers, for various reasons. 46% of international transactions were for primary residences, 20% for residential rentals, and 26% for investment rentals, vacation homes or both.
Florida continues to lead the U.S. in total unit sales to foreign buyers. One in five buyers (21%) bought a home in Florida. That number is down from a peak of 31% in 2011. The change is partly due to the change in makeup of foreign buyers. While Canadians tend to favor the Sunshine State, the weak Canadian dollar has made Florida purchases relatively more expensive for them. In addition, the Chinese demand has skyrocketed, though the Chinese tend to pick locations along the Pacific Coast. California came in second for international buyers with a 16% share, followed by Texas with 8% and Arizona with 5%.
In 2014, five countries accounted for 51% of all purchases by international buyers: China, Canada, Mexico, India and the United Kingdom. International buyers tend to purchase more expensive properties with the average purchase price being $499,600, compared to the overall U.S. average house price of $255,600. Chinese buyers purchased the most expensive properties, at an average price of $831,800.