Nationally, 4.0% of the home searches on Trulia.com between January and May 2014 came from outside the U.S. That’s a slight decline from the same period last year, when foreign searches accounted for 4.2% of Trulia’s web search traffic. Canada, the United Kingdom, and Germany remain the top three countries outside the U.S. for home searches. But Brazil has pushed up to 4th place, jumping ahead of India, Mexico, and Australia. Brazil accounted for 4.1% of foreign search traffic in 2014 versus 2.9% in 2013.
|#||Country||Share of all foreign searches, 2014||Share of all foreign searches, 2013||Change in share, 2014 vs 2013|
The most striking change in foreign search patterns over the past year is that the foreign search share is rising in dense, urban neighborhoods but falling in vacation areas. In general, these two types of places tend to get more foreign interest than the U.S. overall does: foreign searches accounted for 4.0% of searches for U.S. homes overall, 4.7% of searches in vacation areas, and 9.4% of searches in the densest urban neighborhoods. But these two trends are moving in different directions, as the chart shows.
Note: “dense urban neighborhoods” are ZCTAs (ZIP Code Tabulation Areas, the Census approximation of ZIP codes) with at least 5,000 housing units per square mile. “Vacation areas” are ZCTAs where at least 25% of homes are for seasonal or occasional use.
Underneath these broad trends lie big differences among foreign countries and across U.S. metros neighborhoods. On to the details.
Canadians Lean Toward Vacation Homes, While Brazilians Want Urban Real Estate
Canada is the top foreign country with U.S. home searches, with 19% of all foreign search traffic in 2014 (through May). Relative to other countries, Canadians are also the most drawn to U.S. vacation areas: 11% of Canadian searches were for homes in vacation areas. This is higher than any other country with significant search activity on Trulia. Canada also stands out for its love of Phoenix, which was among the top metros for homes viewed by Canadians but not by searchers from any other country.
In contrast with Canadians, Brazilians tend to look in urban neighborhoods. One quarter of the searches from Brazil were in dense, urban neighborhoods, higher than any other country in the top six for search activity overall. Urban areas were even more popular among house hunters in Australia, France, Italy, and Russia.
Just as house hunters from different countries look in different types neighborhoods, they also look at different types of homes. Among countries with the most search traffic, Australians look at the most expensive for-sale homes, with a median asking price of $625,000. The Dutch, British, and French also tend to look at for-sale homes priced over half a million, while Canadians and Mexicans typically look at quarter-million-dollar homes. However, searchers from Nordic countries look at the most expensive homes, with Finns, Swedes, and Danes all looking at for-sale homes with a median price above one million dollars.
Senior Director, Coldwell Banker New Homes Division
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