At ListGlobally, we believe data is really important for your business development. As such, we often publish our data results and make them available to real estate professionals globally. As we track consumer interest and the performance of listings, we are capable of detecting trends when it comes to foreign buyers worldwide.

Today, we would like to share with you our consumer inquiry report trends from 2019. Additionally, we would like to  provide you with more insights on what we are anticipating for 2020. Let's have a look!

Download the full report ListGlobally

51% Growth in Foreign Buyer Interest in 2019

In 2019, numerous macroeconomic factors motivated the purchase of real estate abroad. We would like to point a few significant influences:

  • Brexit,
  • The Trump Administration,
  • The trade war between the US and China that led Chinese buyers to seek other investment destinations,
  • The Millennial generation that continues to gain access and be active on the global real estate markets,
  • The growing interest in countries like Spain and Portugal that offer lower property prices and good life quality.

But what were the hottest markets for foreign property buyers in 2019? Spain and Portugal continued leading the way, and Brexit is having a positive impact for countries like France and Germany.

It is also important to note that the U.S. saw an overall decrease in foreign consumer interest, particularly from Chinese buyers because of trade policies initiated by the Trump Administration. Even though Chinese buyers still play an important role in the U.S. as major foreign buyers, there are indications that some of their interest has shifted to other countries like Canada and the UK.

Esther Yong, director of, a cross-border property dealing platform, said she has seen the same trend. “The queue in the US is getting longer, and emigration rules are getting tougher for other traditional popular destinations including Canada and Australia. So people are starting to look for other options”, she said.

Spain and Portugal continue leading the way

Worldwide, Spain and Portugal continued leading the way but Brexit is also having a positive impact for countries like France, and Germany.

If we compare 2019 results with 2018, we see Spain experienced impressive growth when it comes to its importance as it relates to foreign buyer interest in purchasing abroad, rising from 16% in 2018 to 36% in 2019. The percentage of foreign buyers inquiring in Portugal in 2018 was 23% and it has gone up slightly in 2019 to 24%.

A special note regarding France: when we analyze the below graphic, we tend to conclude that the number of foreign buyers inquiring about French properties has decreased. However, France actually reported a growth in interest, up 6% from 2018. Due to the strong influence from top performing countries like Spain, France’s results only appear to have decreased when really there was a new player in the market that was 2019’s real estate golden child, Spain.

But who inquired about property in these top countries ?

The French are buying literally everywhere! But we'd rather focus on top markets to provide you a better insight of where are they are buying property. In Spain, for example, 39% of inquiries came from France, Italy, UK, Germany and Romania.

If we talk about Portugal, most of its inquiries came from France (21%), Brazil (4%), Italy (4%) and Germany (2%). In France, 20% of inquiries came from Italy, 9% from Russia, and 3% from China.

Note that France, UK and Germany seem to be the countries that are benefiting the most in Europe, with the trade war between the U.S. and China. On the other side of the Atlantic, Canada is also collecting the perks and in 2019, 22% of the foreigners that inquired about their properties were Chinese followed by the American buyers with 18%.

Spanish cities on top of foreign buyer interest

It's no wonder that if we have Spain as the top country for foreign buyer interest, some of its cities occupy the top spots on our top 20 cities in the world. Barcelona was the hottest city followed by Lisbon, Portugal. We bet you’re really curious to know more. 

What was the budget of a foreign property buyer in 2019?

In 2019, most of foreign buyers inquired for apartment style housing (58%), and if we consider the pricing, we see that France led the way when it comes to the countries where foreign buyers are more likely to spend more money on apartments over the money spent on single family homes.

When it comes to single family homes, we see that Spain leads the way. Note that most of Spanish houses that foreigners are seeking, are close to the sea and beach. This may justify them wanting to spend a little bit more to get their dream house or vacation property.

When it comes to pricing, we see that the average price of real estate for which foreign buyers inquired to, or submitted their interest for, has increased between 2018 and 2019. This trend followed the price of property increasing in 2019. In 2019, we recorded an average global inquiring price of € 412K / $ 445K.

But what was the average price in our top inquiring countries? Let's have a look.


In 2020 foreign buyers will continue to grow

At ListGlobally, we predict that the number of foreign buyers will continue to grow in 2020.

In Europe, according to Price Waterhouse Cooper “PWC”, we will keep an eye on the following trends:

  • A growing interest from foreign buyers in Europe that will lead to an increase in property prices,
  • The use of artificial intelligence and new technologies to reduce real estate business costs and optimize time,
  • New real estate players appearing on the market

In North America you should keep an eye on:

  • High demand and lower mortgage rates,
  • Affordability of properties will decrease,
  • Technology will be in the spotlight as more and more agencies will invest to simplify their selling and branding tools,
  • ListGlobally data also suggests that more and more Chinese will be moving from the US to Canada, UK, France, and Germany.

If the political situation stabilizes between the U.S. and China, the U.S. may regain Chinese confidence and get their sexy back.

New ListGlobally tools and services in 2020

In 2019, Listglobally launched a few services to help foreign buyers and real estate agents to better brand themselves as local experts towards foreign buyers.

One example is our Global Agent Program which includes the possibility to:

  • Improve real estate agent’s visibility and notoriety.
  • Position your listings at the top of search result pages in your market.

Are you curious to know more?

We want to talk! Reach out

We would love to hear from you. If you have any questions or would like additional information about foreign buyers don't hesitate to contact us.


Subscribe to the Newsletter

Recent blog post

  • Jun 23, 2023 4:40:37 PM |
  • Shanna Mawer

United States real estate market update

  • May 15, 2023 3:29:16 PM |
  • Shanna Mawer

How to win an exclusive mandate 

  • Apr 21, 2023 3:32:43 PM |
  • Shanna Mawer

How to turn a renter into a buyer