By guest blogger Cynthia Fauth

Global real estate can hardly be considered a “niche” segment anymore. For most parts of our own country – including Arizona, it’s a reality of the business.

The current global economic climate continues to drive foreign investment into the United States. For some economies, including Canada, it is also driving the sale of U.S. properties. What does this mean for Arizona REALTORS®? A keen understanding of working with international buyers and sellers is essential to being successful in today’s real estate landscape.

Last year, foreign buyers purchased over $4 billion in Arizona residential real estate, representing four-percent of the total foreign investment in the U.S.1

This level of influx is not a new phenomenon – Arizona consistently ranks among the top five destinations for international investment in America.

Fifty-eight percent of the foreign buyers in the Grand Canyon State are North American – that is to say, almost exclusively Canadian. It’s no secret that Canadian buyers are interested in shedding their winter coats in favor of sunshine and warmer temperatures. Western Canadians are especially attracted to Arizona, due to its proximity to their cities of origin.

Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport offers more flights to Canada (most of them from central and western Canada) than to any other country.

In addition to Canadians, Mexican buyers also choose Arizona for its climate, proximity to Mexico, and existing Hispanic influences. In fact, nearly 30-percent of Arizona’s population is Hispanic and this number is projected to grow dramatically over the next several decades.

The report also indicates that 18-percent of the foreign buyers in Arizona hail from Asia, again no surprise given the steep increase of Chinese buyers seeking an investment in U.S. properties.

Outbound business is also strong, given that many Canadians purchased properties when their dollar was nearly equal to the U.S. dollar. Now, many of those buyers are looking to unload those properties for a profit.

According to the Profile report, ten-percent of all international clients who sold properties in the U.S. were located in Arizona.

The median price of homes sold by international clients in Arizona was $189,500.

Whether buying or selling property, international clients represent a large segment of business for Arizona REALTORS®. Understanding the needs, negotiation styles, and the business practices/culture of their home countries is essential to capturing this business.

Visit for education, networking opportunities, and resources to help you capture this lucrative buyer market. Stay tuned for more articles from NAR detailing the buying and selling preferences and factors driving the purchases of international buyers.

1According to the NAR 2016 Profile of International Activity in U.S. Residential Real Estate

Cindy FauthCindy Fauth is global marketing director for
the National Association of REALTORS®

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