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The ownership of real estate abroad has become a popular investment strategy for individuals seeking diversification and long-term financial stability. This review aims to shed light on the prevalence of Americans owning real estate overseas, providing expert insights, informative data, and an easy-to-understand analysis of this growing trend.

Understanding the Scope:

To gauge the number of people who own real estate abroad in the United States, it is essential to examine various factors such as economic prosperity, legal frameworks, taxation policies, and cultural preferences. By exploring these aspects, we can gain a better understanding of the motivations behind such investments and their impact on the US real estate market.

Economic Prosperity and Globalization:

The United States, being the world's largest economy, has witnessed a steady rise in the number of individuals investing in real estate abroad. As economic globalization progresses, people are increasingly looking beyond their domestic markets for investment opportunities. The desire for diversification and potential higher returns drives many Americans to explore international real estate markets.

Legal Frameworks and Taxation Policies:

The legal frameworks and taxation policies in both the United States and foreign countries play a significant role in determining the number of people owning real estate abroad. American citizens

The Benefits of Owning International Real Estate
  • Earns Higher Returns.
  • Protects Your Assets.
  • Provides Government Insurance.
  • Produces Diversification.

Why invest overseas real estate?

There are many reasons why our clients invest in foreign real estate, including privacy, portfolio diversification, tax savings, holiday home, and retirement planning.

Is investing in foreign real estate worth it?

Investing in real estate overseas is a way to diversify beyond the U.S. markets. “Foreign real estate can be a very profitable long-term venture and can generate passive income,” says Alex Lavrenov, an agent at Warburg Realty in New York.

Is international real estate profitable?

International real estate provides investors with the opportunity to profit from both expanding and floundering markets. That is because international markets do not move in the same direction, and if one market is doing great, the other market may be the polar opposite.

Can I buy a house in another country and rent it out?

Some US expats may decide to purchase a foreign home, not to live in but to rent out, and to make some passive income on the side. If you choose to go in this direction, you'll need to declare your foreign rental income on Form 1040 Schedule E. The IRS has four different tax treatments for foreign rental income.

What percent of US real estate is foreign owned?

In total, foreign investment made up 2.6% of the $2.3 trillion in existing home sales in the period.

What foreign country owns most real estate in USA?

Chinese buyers made up the largest share of major foreign buyers of property in the United States in 2023. In that year, 13 percent of residential properties were purchased by Chinese buyers. That amounted to an aggregate value of 13.6 billion U.S. dollars.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much American real estate do the Chinese own?

Roughly 384,000 acres

China owns roughly 384,000 acres of U.S. agricultural land, according to a 2021 report from the Department of Agriculture.

Who are the top foreign investors in the US real estate market?

China, Mexico, Canada, India and Colombia were the top five countries of origin for international buyers of existing homes by number of houses, not dollar volume. The survey does not count new construction, where international buyers are also active.

Who owns US commercial real estate?

Who Owns/Controls The Bulk of Commercial Real Estate Assets? Given their size and cost, there are few individual commercial real estate property owners. Instead, the bulk of their ownership is concentrated in the hands of two types of investment firms: REITs and Private Equity.

How big is the global commercial real estate market?

The size of global professionally-managed commercial real estate market declined by 4.1% between 2021 and 2022, to $13.3 trillion.


How many Americans own property abroad?

And two-thirds (67%) of those who were surveyed already own residential property outside the U.S., Mansion Global reports. In 2022 surging prices for homes in the U.S. and the rising cost of living also encouraged more affluent buyers to look for opportunities overseas, according to Mansion Global.

How many homes are bought by foreign investors?

Foreign buyers bought 84,600 properties from April 2022 to March 2023, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR). That's the lowest level since 2009 and down 14.2% from a year earlier.

What foreign country owns the most US property?


Canada is the biggest foreign owner of U.S. agricultural and timber land, and owns 4.7 million acres in the United States.

Is it worth investing in overseas property?

Pros of investing in overseas property

With a low-cost entry point and global markets on the rise, investing in overseas property can offer significant returns. Additionally, some foreign countries may provide tax incentives for non-residents who purchase real estate within their borders.

How many people own real estate abroad

What are the benefits of owning foreign property? Robinhood
  • Own a second home in the sun.
  • Retire abroad for pennies on the dollar.
  • Enjoy a rich cultural experience.
  • Achieve true investment diversity.
  • Benefit from currency diversity.
  • Earn an income abroad.
  • Deduct travel costs from your taxes.
  • Enjoy the security of a hard asset.
Can a US citizen buy property in another country? Yes, you can get a mortgage for a property in another country. The bank or lender will need to have an overseas presence in order to assist you with getting an international mortgage.

Do US citizens pay property tax on foreign property?

Do US Citizens Have to Pay Taxes on Foreign Property? All US citizens must file a yearly tax return regardless of where they live in the world. When filing your return, you must report your worldwide income. This includes any gain or loss from selling a foreign property and rental income.

When did real estate investing become a thing?

The real estate industry traces its roots back to the late 19th century. But it didn't begin to take shape as we know it until the early 1900s.

  • Can a foreigner invest in real estate in us?
    • Yes. Because the US has no citizenship requirement for real estate sales, non-US citizens can buy property in the US. In fact, foreigners can even qualify for a mortgage if they meet certain requirements. However, foreign property owners do face a more challenging tax situation than US citizens.

  • Why do foreign investors buy American real estate?
    • The advantage to the foreign investor is diversification of the investment portfolio so that marginal riskiness is lower than for the domestic bidder. The relative riskiness of investments due to political conditions in other countries may cause the foreign investor to be less risk averse to American property.

  • What countries invest in US real estate?
    • China, Mexico, Canada, India and Colombia were the top five countries of origin by number of U.S. existing homes purchased. The top U.S. destinations for foreign buyers were Florida (23%); California and Texas (12% each); and North Carolina, Arizona and Illinois (4% each).

  • Did Warren Buffett invest in real estate?
    • There's a Difference Between Buying Real Estate and Investing in Real Estate. Buffett isn't opposed to investing in real estate and has invested in several real estate investment trusts (REITs) over the years. However, he knows it doesn't make sense for him to get into the business of being a landlord.

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