• Foreign investment in real estate has become a growing concern for some economic experts, but impacts may be limited to the coastal states.
  • Foreign investment is down 1.3 percent in 2016 over last year.
  • The majority of foreign buyers hail from China, followed by Canada, Mexico and India.

After Britain voted to leave the European Union, business and economic leaders began to grow a bit frantic. How will the exit impact foreign investment in U.S. real estate following the decision?

Likely, it’s going to depend on the location.

While cities on each coast may see a bit more of an impact, experts believe the Chicago implications will be much smaller.

According to a recent report from the Chicago Tribune, Illinois ranks among the top 10 states for foreign real estate buyers, and experts at the National Association of Realtors (NAR) believe the trend will continue.

Because the state doesn’t have massive pools of buyers like Los Angeles and New York City tend to, the expectation is that trends will continue in the same vein.

Another boon for Chicago real estate is that international buyers are typically seeking a permanent home rather than a second home or vacation property. The state of Illinois ranks as the No. 4 most popular for buyers from Mexico and No. 5 for buyers from India.

Throughout the nation, the sales volume has evened out despite the dip in overseas money.

“Weaker economic growth throughout the world, devalued foreign currencies and financial market turbulence combined to present significant challenges for foreign buyers over the past year,” Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist, said in a recent report.

“While these obstacles led to a cool down in sales from non-resident foreign buyers, the purchases by recent immigrant foreigners rose, resulting in the overall sales dollar volume still being the second highest since 2009.”

Trends in foreign investment

Foreign investment in American real estate has slowed in 2016 by 1.3 percent over last year to $102.6 billion. However, the volume of sales increased by 2.8 percent.

Foreign real estate purchases are typically made on properties higher than the median home price in the U.S., which could be a reflection of the type of buyers and the location in which they are purchasing. The typical foreign buyer price was reported at $277,380, compared with the U.S. median of $223,058.

Of the foreign investors, the largest volume comes from China, followed by Canada, Mexico, India and the United Kingdom.


Email Kimberly Manning

Show Comments Hide Comments


Sign up for Inman’s Morning Headlines
What you need to know to start your day with all the latest industry developments
By submitting your email address, you agree to receive marketing emails from Inman.
Thank you for subscribing to Morning Headlines.
Back to top
Log in
If you created your account with Google or Facebook
Don't have an account?
Forgot your password?
No Problem

Simply enter the email address you used to create your account and click "Reset Password". You will receive additional instructions via email.

Forgot your username? If so please contact customer support at (510) 658-9252

Password Reset Confirmation

Password Reset Instructions have been sent to

Subscribe to The Weekender
Get the week's leading headlines delivered straight to your inbox.
Top headlines from around the real estate industry. Breaking news as it happens.
15 stories covering tech, special reports, video and opinion.
Unique features from hacker profiles to portal watch and video interviews.
Unique features from hacker profiles to portal watch and video interviews.
It looks like you’re already a Select Member!
To subscribe to exclusive newsletters, visit your email preferences in the account settings.
Up-to-the-minute news and interviews in your inbox, ticket discounts for Inman events and more
1-Step CheckoutPay with a credit card
By continuing, you agree to Inman’s Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

You will be charged . Your subscription will automatically renew for on . For more details on our payment terms and how to cancel, click here.

Interested in a group subscription?
Finish setting up your subscription