San Diego Real Estate Professionals at eXp Realty

(619) 200-7612

San Diego has become a hotspot for international real estate investors. In the past year we’ve helped dozens of non-U.S. citizens grab great deals in the San Diego real estate market. Investors from Canada, China, Hong Kong, Japan, Dubai, South Africa, New Zealand, the U.K, and Europe are seizing the opportunity to buy San Diego homes at low prices.  Statistics released in 2012 by Point2, consumer real estate portal, confirm that international buyers are looking to invest in California real estate.

International Investors Buy Homes In San Diego

Why San Diego real estate? It’s simple. When compared to other major cities around the world, San Diego real estate prices are shockingly low.  San Diego homes are now more affordable than homes in Toronto, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Tokyo, and many other major cities around the world.  Yet the San Diego weather is arguably the best in the world, the economy is very strong, and the quality of life is amazing.  The city is clean, fun, relaxed, friendly, safe, and on the ocean.  San Diego homes are in stark contrast to the hustle and bustle, bitter cold, scorching heat, and pollution that exist in other parts of the world.

International Real Estate Investments in the United States

According to Point2, California real estate is one of the top 4 U.S. states considered by international home buyers as measured by volume of online search traffic.  International real estate investors concentrate on Florida, Arizona, Nevada, and California.


Canadians Buying U.S. Real Estate

Canadian real estate investment in the United States focuses on Arizona, Hawaii, Michigan, and California.  Michigan’s proximity to Toronto explains that state’s big draw from California.  And Hawaii is in its own world.  So Canadian home buyers looking for warmer weather in the United States are now looking to Arizona and California first, and to Florida third.  Many Canadians buy homes in San Diego.


There are no legal restrictions on purchases of U.S. real estate by international buyers. However, International purchases of real estate in the United States raise financing issues for some buyers.  Home loans for non-U.S. residents are available, subject to special guidelines.  A U.S. credit score is required for home loans from most U.S. banks, and many foreign buyers don’t have U.S. credit scores.  When financing issues arise, there are solutions.

U.S. Home Loans for Non-U.S. Citizens

Home loans are available to for non-U.S. citizens looking to buy property in the United States. Morgan Stanley Smith Barney and several other firms offer asset-backed home loans to non-U.S. citizens.  Financial advisers and private mortgage bankers at the major investment firms are great at working with non-U.S. home buyers to find financing solutions.  Portfolio lenders such as BBVA Compass Bank offer home loans to Non-U.S. citizens looking to buy or refinance U.S. real estate. These portfolio lenders have greater flexibility because they don’t have to underwrite their loans to the rigid standards of secondary “investors” (banks).  Of course, many international real estate investors are able to pay cash for their U.S. real estate investments, so home loans are not always an issue.

With San Diego real estate prices way down and interest rates at historic lows, international buyers are moving on the opportunity to buy homes in San Diego and throughout the United States.  This is an important perspective that U.S. residents should keep in mind. When the international investors come out in force to buy real estate, it generally means that investment returns are on the horizon.

For more information about investing in San Diego real estate, call Geoffrey Schiering at (619) 200-7612.

35 Responses

    1. Thanks Teyona. Yes, San Diego is a wonderful place to live. Park City isn’t bad either! Let me know if I can be of service to you or to anyone you care about.

        1. Two of the nicest communities in San Diego County are Del Mar, and La Jolla. Many people also enjoy vacations in Coronado. There are a lot of options, depending on your interests. Let me know if I can help you further. Thank you.

  1. San Diego and Bend Oregon Real Estate, two interlinked markets! We also are seeing our market improve in recent months. Our inventory in A markets is at 4 months supply, and new spec homes, in small amounts are being built and sold. Investors are buying homes for rentals and getting positive cash flow. So Cal, Portland, and Seattle are key areas where we see people moving from, so viewers of our 1 Hot Property – Bend Oregon Real Estate web site, are possibly from San Diego, and may need a San Diego Broker to help sell their home before moving to Bend! If you come across any Bend Oregon bound viewers, send em our way and we will do the same for you! We offer an easy tabbed MLS search by categories such as Bend Golf Properties, Bend Luxury Homes, Bend Bank Owned, and more. We also offer a wealth of information on the Bend Oregon lifestyle.

    1. Great! I’ll look forward to hearing from you and your clients with any San Diego real estate needs. And I’ll be happy to do the same for you whenever any of my clients are considering a move to Bend Oregon.

  2. That’s right, and prices of San Diego condos are down by about the same amount in many neighborhoods. San Diego houses are down from 30% to 50%, depending on how close the homes are to the ocean. Any way you look at it these are bargain prices. The press is starting to talk more and more about the Canadian real estate bubble. See

  3. There are definitely a lot of people making smart investments in the San Diego real estate market right now. We’re seeing good margins on house flipping in less than 90 days. Longer term investment in San Diego luxury homes also make a lot of sense. Contact me for more information.

  4. Thanks for your comment John. I helped three Canadian couples just this week. It really has become clear that San Diego real estate offers great value. Any yes, the Beach Boys had it right… “I wish they all could be California girls!”

  5. Yes, I think this is really beneficial information for people who want proper destination for their dream home. According to your analysis, this palace has become more focused place by real estate investors as well as home sellers and buyers. I highly appreciate your latest information about land that became most valuable for people’s dream home. Keep sharing such more valuable information in future.

    1. I know for certain that investors are eyeballing Southern California and wondering “what’s the catch?” But there is no catch. This is just a great time to buy when the prices are low. They’ll go up again, and people who are buying right now in Canada or in China will wonder why they didn’t jump on San Diego when the time was right.

    1. You’re welcome Dan. I came across these statistics and thought it interesting. I definitely think that San Diego California real estate is a better investment than Arizona, even though prices are higher here. And our weather is tons better than Florida. That’s just a matter of preference. Some Canadians like it hot.

  6. Can’t say that we get many international investors here in Salt Lake, but our market is definitely improving. Home sales are up, and homes are selling faster. Prices are still on the decline, but at a much slower pace than seen in the last few years.

    1. Well, hand in there Trela. We’re seeing a lot of demand for San Diego real estate at current levels. San Diego was the first market, or at least one of the first, to go into recession. Now San Diego homes are going to lead the way out of it. Thanks for your comment!

  7. There’s absolutely no wonder that international investors are interested into San Diego. It’s the most beautiful city in the US and the weather is gorgeous through the whole year.

    I’m just wondering why international investors show interest for real estate in Arizona. What’s the reason Geoff?

    1. I think it’s because places like Canada are so darn cold, that just about any warm-weather environment seems like a good move for them. But they get to Arizona and realize it’s not warm… it’s darn HOT. So then they move to San Diego!

  8. San Diego is so beautiful, and you certainly can’t beat the timing when it comes to investment.

    I appreciate the market analysis, it looks like you guys know exactly what you’re doing!

      1. I personally believe that investors will do better with San Diego real estate than with real estate in Florida or Arizona. There is an actual housing shortage in San Diego. The same can’t be said for those other areas.

  9. We’ve been getting a lot of interest too here in New Jersey from international investors. No doubt that’s because the dollar has been getting hit. But, I imagine this too will end for investors from Spain, Greece, and the other Euro countries in danger.

  10. It is nice to see your blog as you said, international investors can buy affordable homes in San Diego with reasonable price but can you please tell me what is the procedure for getting the loans of the international investors in San Diego?? Will they obey all the legal guidelines??

  11. It’s not surprising you’re getting the same results as us down here in Australia. Being from a coastal area not far from a major city we’re ending up a massive source of interest to offshore investors.

  12. I too have noticed a lot of foreign real estate investors coming to socal. I sell real estate in orange county, ca and there have been a lot lately.

  13. San Diego is a great place to visit. This bustling city is a tourist hub and houses a lot of attractions for tourists. Thanks for the analysis. Interested buyers will definitely find this analysis useful.

  14. Florida has always been a hub for international investors, and even more so with the economy and real estate being at its lowest international investors are moving there portfolios to the American real estate market.

  15. I just stumbled upon your site and found this post very useful. I’ve recently purchased real estate investment properties in Florida and Arizona, but I think I should start looking in San Diego as well!

  16. As I heard about San Diego from my friends, People those lives there has a very luxurious and a peaceful life. So I think, that’s the big reason that people from other countries are attracting towards San Diego. I also want to live there but my conditions are not allowing me to do it.

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    for your content. This great article has truly peaked
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  18. I had a client who recently sold a house in Bucks County area and moved to San Diego for health reasons. He has arthritis and his doctor recommended that he moves to a climate such as San Diego’s. He has lived there for 2 years now and he forgot about arthritis. He’s feeling so much better. Glad to hear buyers from overseas see an opportunity in our country.

  19. Hey, whats the general cap rate on an apartment in SD? I’m an agent at KW NYC and I have an apartment that has only attracted investors but the cap rate is too low for them to pull the trigger.

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