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Field Guide to Foreign Investment Trends in the U.S.

(Updated May 2014)

Despite potential risks such as a depressed housing market, dealing with foreign laws, fluctuating exchange rates, etc., cross-border investment is expected to accelerate as domestic investors seek high returns abroad and foreign investors take advantage of a weakened dollar. The steadily rising influx of capital into U.S. markets and limited supply of product have altered the way the game is played. This Field Guide offers information and sources for those considering foreign investment opportunities. (D. Winchester, Information Specialist)


Ranking of U.S. Cities for Real Estate Investment (2014)

  • New York City, NY
  • San Francisco, CA
  • Houston, TX
  • Washington, DC
  • Los Angeles, CA
  • Boston, MA
  • Seattle, WA
  • Miami, FL

Source: 2014 AFIRE Annual Foreign Investment Survey


Foreign Investment Trends in the U.S.

8 Countries Where There's a Rush for U.S. Real Estate, (REALTOR® Magazine, Apr. 15, 2014).

Foreign buyers show interest in Pacific Northwest ranches, (The Idaho Business Review, Apr. 1, 2014). Q

Hooks and Hurdles for Chinese Investors in the U.S., (REALTOR® Magazine, Feb. 2014).

US dominates list for foreign real estate investors, (CNBC, Jan. 7, 2014).

Foreign Home Buyers Continue to Identify U.S. as Profitable Investment, Realtors® Report, (National Association of REALTORS®, June 14, 2013).

The 2012 NAR Profile of International Home Buying Activity, (National Association of REALTORS® - Research, 2012).

Economy Watch: U.S. Still Number One Among Foreign CRE Investors, (MHN Online, Jan. 2, 2012).

U.S. is top 2012 property investment pick, (Reuters, Jan. 1, 2012).

International Investors Look to U.S. Real Estate, (Reit, Dec. 21, 2011).

Reforms to the Foreign Investment Real Property Tax Act Will Spur Investment, Create Jobs and Encourage Economic Growth, (Capital Markets, June 23, 2011).

Foreign Investors Hover Over U.S. Real Estate, But Few Swoop In, (CoStar Group, Sept. 15, 2010).

German firms scour U.S. for deals---commercial property is scooped up at discounted prices as market wobbles, (Wall Street Journal, Oct. 28, 2009).

Tax rules for foreign investors in U.S. real property, (Journal of International Taxation, Aug. 2009). Q

Why foreign investment lags in U.S. apartments sector, (National Real Estate Investor, July 2009). 

Foreign activity one bright spot in market, (Pensions & Investments, Mar. 9, 2009). Q

Foreign investors: An unexpected financing source in a contracting real estate marketplace, (Real Estate Finance, Oct. 2008). Q

U.S. home prices lure foreigners, (Wall Street Journal, May 27, 2008).

Foreign investment in U.S. real property, (The CPA Journal, Dec. 2007). Q


Investing in Foreign Markets

Looking for new opportunities, (China Law & Practice, Nov./Dec. 2013). Q

Is Now The Time To Buy International Real Estate?, (Forbes, Aug 20, 2013).

China beats US as top destination for foreign investment, (GlobalPost, Oct. 26, 2012).

Things You Must Know Before Investing in Overseas Real Estate Market, (Real Estate India, July 11, 2011).

India tops real estate investment market list in Asia for 2010, (Indian Realty News, Dec. 15, 2009).

International real estate investment: What investors should know, (NuWire Investors, Mar. 8, 2008).

Investing in foreign real estate goes mainstream, (Kiplinger.com, Dec. 2006).


Useful Websites

Association of Foreign Investors in Real Estate (AFIRE)—Provides information and research on foreign investment trends in real estate.

U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, Advocates and promotes international real estate investments. Provides an forum for investors to meet and exchange information through regularly scheduled meetings in the United States and Europe.


eBooks & Other Resources

Books.realtor.org

The following ebooks and digital audiobooks are available to NAR members:

Passport to Exotic Real Estate, (Adobe eReader, Kindle)

How to Invest In Offshore Real Estate and Pay Little or No Taxes (Adobe eReader)

International Real Estate Handbook (Adobe eReader)

No Going Back - Buying Abroad (Adobe eReader)

Field Guides & More

These field guides and other resources in the Virtual Library may also be of interest:

Field Guide to Marketing to the Hispanic Community

Field Guide to REALTORS® and the Global Marketplace

InfoCentral Blog


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The inclusion of links on this field guide does not imply endorsement by the National Association of REALTORS®. NAR makes no representations about whether the content of any external sites which may be linked in this field guide complies with state or federal laws or regulations or with applicable NAR policies. These links are provided for your convenience only and you rely on them at your own risk.