best cities for foreigners who invest in us real estate

Top 9 Cities for Foreign Investors in American Real Estate

Oct 20, 2023

Investing in US real estate offers a unique and wide variety of opportunities. Depending on their specific needs, investors (both foreign and domestic), can purchase residential properties, commercial real estate, vacation rentals, and industrial properties. These types of properties can generate income either through rent or appreciation (which has been historically high in some US cities). The latter makes US real estate great for creating diversified investment portfolios and for protecting money against inflation. And, investing in US real estate also means investing in the US dollar, the most stable currency in the world. 

For the above reasons, it comes as no surprise that the amount of foreign investments in US real estate exceeded $55 billion, since March of 2022. The biggest amount of money is pouring in from China and Canada, but there is also a sizable sum of money coming in from Mexico, Columbia and India. Before getting into this topic, it would be good to take a look at detailed foreign investor statistics in American real estate.

9 Best Cities for Real Estate Investment in the USA

Finding the best city for real estate investment to put your hard-earned money in, can be a difficult task. To make it easier for you to navigate the large US real estate market, we’ve compiled a list of best sites for foreign investment: 

austin texas is one of the best cities for foreign investors in us real estate

1. Austin, Texas

Average home price – $543,380

Average rent – $1,806

Average daily Airbnb – $373 daily rate

Real estate appreciation rate – 196,13% (for the past ten years)

Austin is the fastest growing city in the US with a steady yearly increase in population, that hovers between 2-3,4%. Just in the past 4 years, the number of people living in Austin has increased from around two to almost two and a half million residents. 

The unemployment rate in Austin is steady, at 3.8%, and is keeping up with the average rate for the entire US. And, although unemployment might seem high, it’s important to note that the city has seen an influx of almost 500,000 people in the past 5 years, which means it will take some time before the job economy fully balances itself.

The city is also home to many tech companies, including Tesla, DELL, Apple, and many more. These high-paying jobs are bringing a lot of people to Austin, and this is creating an increased demand for real estate property in the city. 

And finally, the thing that makes Austin stand out on our list as one of the best cities for foreign investment is that the state of Texas doesn’t have a corporate income tax. This and other types of regulations that favor landlords, make Texas one of the most landlord-friendly states in the US. 

We can help you open an LLC. Our mortgage brokers are licensed in 50 states.

charlotte nc is on top of the list for nonresident investors

2. Charlotte, North Carolina

Average home price – $386,502

Average rent – $1,670

Average daily Airbnb – $90-$120

Real estate appreciation rate – 156,57% (for the period between 2000-2022)

Another great city for nonresidents to invest in foreign real estate, Charlotte, is home to many Fortune 500 companies, including Bank of America ($94 billion yearly revenue) and Lowe’s ($96 billion yearly revenue). 

The city is also the center of many different industries, such as finance, retail, and energy. This diversity in the job market makes the city’s economy increasingly stable. And the proof of that lies in Charlotte’s unemployment rate, which has seen a consistent drop from 5% to 3,5%, since August of 2021.

Charlotte is experiencing a stable population growth (2,86% since 2022). The number of people living in this city has increased by more than 200,000 in the last 5 years. The steady increase in population has also affected the real estate market – The demand is increasing, but the supply is keeping up, which makes real estate properties more affordable when compared to other expanding US cities.

miami fl has always been one of the best cities for foreigners who invest in american real estate

3. Miami, Florida

Average home price – $568,926

Average rent – $2,438

Average daily Airbnb – $420

Real estate appreciation rate – 188,09% (for the past ten years)

In 2022, nonresident investors bought around $6,8 billion dollars worth of residential properties, in South Florida alone. This makes Miami, one of the most popular cities for foreign investors looking to purchase real estate property in Florida.

Alongside being extremely popular with nonresident investors, Miami is also a great tourist spot averaging more than 25 million visitors a year. Because of that, it comes as no surprise that Miami has the highest number of short-term rentals per 100,000 residents. 

Miami’s economy and job market are also great. The unemployment rate is far below the US average, and it sits at 1,9%. And, according to the most recent information, the Miami metro area gained more than 30,000 new jobs in education, health, and business services, just in May of 2023, alone. 

A good job market and a stable economy are usually followed by population increase, which is exactly the case with Miami. The population growth of the city and its wider areas has been consistent, with the entire Miami-Dade County experiencing an increase of more than 6% in the past decade.

atlanta ga

4. Atlanta, Georgia

Average home price – $380,298

Average rent – $1,852

Average daily Airbnb – $192

Real estate appreciation rate – 63% (for the period between 2000-2022)

Atlanta, the capital of Georgia and the state’s economic center is in the top 10 most productive US cities. The city and its metropolitan area generate a strong GDP of almost $400 billion a year.

The real estate market is booming and presents many opportunities for foreign investors. Atlanta has a robust economy, has been experiencing a steady population growth (1,58% in 2022 alone), and has an unemployment rate of 4,5%. Also, the cost of living in Atlanta is relatively cheap, compared to what the city has to offer. 

Atlanta is also home to the busiest international airport, the Hartsfield-Jackson Airport, which services more than 100 million passengers per year. And, let’s not forget that Atlanta, and the entire state of Georgia, are popular with tourists. In 2023, the state was visited by more than 150 million tourists both foreign and domestic. All of these combined, put Atlanta on the list of the best cities for foreign investment.

may say that New York City is one of the Best Cities for Foreign Real Estate Investment

5. New York City, New York

Average home price – $736,314

Average rent – $3,450 for a studio; $7,395 for a 4-bedroom rental;

Average daily Airbnb – $170

Real estate appreciation rate – 79.16% (for the past ten years)

New York City is one of the world’s major financial and commercial hubs. Real estate in prime locations, like Manhattan, has shown a tendency to appreciate over time, making it one of the best places for foreign investors (with deep pockets) to purchase long-term investment properties. 

But, as we’ve insinuated, the prices are high and this makes the city inaccessible to a wider pool 

of investors, namely newcomers and beginners to the real estate game. This is especially true for the above-mentioned island of Manhattan, where an average home is valued just above $1,100,000. 

During the 2020-21 period, the city experienced a population decline of around 5,8%, which translates to a loss of around half a million people for the city of New York’s size. 

New York’s unemployment rate is a bit high, sitting at around 5,3% at the time of writing. However, despite the unemployment rate, the city still has one of the largest economies in the world with a yearly GDP being slightly above $2,1 trillion. The amazing economy and many job opportunities, coupled with an appreciation of many real estate properties, make New York popular for foreign investors looking for great deals and a way to combat inflation.

chicago is one of the best destinations for real estate investing in us

6. Chicago, Illinois

Average home price – $287,337

Average rent – $2,309

Average daily Airbnb – $220

Real estate appreciation rate – 48,8% (for the past ten years)

The city of Chicago, along with its metropolitan area, is the 3rd largest place in the US, with around 9 million people living in it. The real estate market is quite affordable, which makes it one of the best cities for real estate investment in the US, for both beginners and experienced investors looking to expand their portfolios. And, the thing that really makes Chicago stand out and so appealing to investors is the fact that more than more than 50% of household units are occupied by renters. There are also various property tax incentives that aim to bring in new investors and revitalize various parts of this historical city (industrial zones, different neighborhoods, and commercial and apartment buildings).

The city’s metropolitan area has experienced a slight population growth, of about 0,2% in the last year. The unemployment rate has been rather unstable, falling to 3,5% and then rising to above 5%, just in 2023 alone. 

san francisco, california

7. San Francisco, California

Average home price – $1,261,671

Average rent – $3,336

Average daily Airbnb – $258

Real estate appreciation rate – 111.65% (for the past ten years)

The thing that makes San Francisco real estate extremely popular with foreign investors is the high appreciation rate, which is above 110% for the past decade. 

But, this high rate also makes the city, and its real estate property extremely expensive. And, with San Francisco being tenant-friendly, purchasing a property for the sole purpose of renting it might be a tough ask for many foreign investors. Yes, the average rent is high, but, if you’re looking to get a return on investment solely through rent, you might be wasting your time. 

However, if you’re looking for a place to store your money and shield it from inflation, the big appreciation rate puts San Francisco amongst the best cities for foreign investment.

San Francisco has a great job market, with many large companies having their headquarters in it, including:

  • Wells Fargo;
  • Meta Platforms;
  • Google;
  • Uber Technologies Inc;
  • Amazon;
  • Airbnb;

The average salary is almost double that of the US as a whole and is around $94,000. The current unemployment of 3,6% is slowly decreasing and is coming back to its pre-2020 levels.  

LA is one of the Best Cities for Foreign Real Estate Investment

8. Los Angeles, California

Average home price – $923,739

Average rent – $2,742

Average daily Airbnb – $244

Real estate appreciation rate – 200,8% (for the period between 2000-2022)

Los Angeles, similarly to San Francisco, is not a landlord-friendly city. The real estate prices are high, and the average rental income is not good enough to make it worthwhile for a lot of foreign investors. But, just like San Francisco, LA has a relatively high appreciation rate, sitting at around 111% in the past 5 years. For those reasons, foreign investors looking to buy real estate in LA should not do it because of rent income, but rather for the appreciation rate and as a way to safeguard their money from inflation.

Orlando, FL

9. Orlando, Florida

Average home price – $373,268

Average rent – $1940

Average daily Airbnb – $180

Real estate appreciation rate – 153.1% (for the period between 2000-2022)

Orlando is one of the best cities for foreign investment. The city is a tourism and entertainment hub, with more than 74 million tourists visiting it in 2022. This, and the fact that more than 60% of households are occupied by renters, makes this city great for purchasing both short and long-term rental properties. The monthly rent is good, compared to the asking value of many properties. 

The unemployment rate in Orlando is about half a percent lower than the nation’s average and is sitting at around 3%. Both job markets and the economy are thriving. This is attracting people looking for jobs to the city, which is in turn increasing demand for commercial, residential, and rental properties. All of this and the yearly GDP pushing well above $150 billion, make Orlando among the best cities for foreign investment.

Find Best Cities For Foreign Investment With NRI

The US real estate market is huge and offers a lot of great investment opportunities. However, it can be quite challenging to navigate and actually find the best cities for foreign investment in the US. Finding the ideal location for investment, especially if you’re a foreigner, can seem impossible, and this is exactly where NRI comes in. 

We are a one-stop shop for all international buyers looking to invest in US real estate. Our NRI team will assist you every step of the way — from opening up an LLC to finding lenders and connecting you with real estate agents. We are licensed in all 50 states and operate alongside a vast network of people who specialize in working with international buyers. Don’t hesitate, book a free call so we can figure out how best we can help you!

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