Property

These are the most popular locations for US home buyers

These are the top countries where Americans are buying homes right now

Silhouette of a tropical palm tree at sunset along the tranquil Pacific Ocean inside Corcovado national park, Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica
(Image credit: Sébastien Lecocq / Alamy Stock Photo)

New research has revealed the top destinations for US home buyers. If you are a savvy property investor, the most popular countries probably will not surprise you; if you are just starting out on your international home-buying journey, take note of these locations: more buyers will eventually mean higher prices, so you'll want to act sooner rather than later.

Figuring out how to buy a house is also about knowing where to buy a house, and these top destinations have a lot going for them, as confirmed by experienced real estate experts. 

1. Mexico

Beautiful beach at archeological zone, Tulum, Riviera Maya, Quintana Roo, Mexico, Caribbean

(Image credit: Helmut Corneli / Alamy Stock Photo)

The study conducted by the international real estate search portal Point2 analyzed Google searches for homes over the past year. The top spot is confidently held by Mexico, beloved by Americans for generations and still immensely popular. 

According to the Financial Times, Tulum and Playa del Carmen, two of the best  places to buy a vacation home in Mexico, 'have seen huge levels of residential development, largely fuelled by droves of expats from the US and Canada.' 

The fact is that Mexico remains an affordable destination to buy a home – a luxurious three-bedroom condo can be bought for under $500,000. 

The pandemic without a doubt has fueled the fire of Americans' appetite for homes in Mexico. The climate, the beaches, and the proximity to the US all play a part. 

2. Canada

Aireal view of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

(Image credit: All Canada Photos / Alamy Stock Photo)

Canada is an interesting one – it was only number seven in 2015, but has climbed steadily to the second spot, and has held this position since 2018. The most sought-after locations? Vancouver and Toronto – the two major Canadian cities that have been favorites with foreign investors for many years. According to some estimates, over 50 per cent of homes in Toronto are internationally owned. 

Jane Londerville, a real estate professor at the University of Guelph in Southern Ontario, has explained that the popularity of Canada is due to its image as 'a very safe, calm economy', safe for investing. 

3. Costa Rica

Tourboat anchored at Tamarindo beach, Guanacaste, Costa Rica

(Image credit: Cultura Creative RF / Alamy Stock Photo)

Costa Rica has overtaken Puerto Rico – Americans now search for Costa Rican homes 46,610 times every month. It's not really surprising given the increasing prominence of this tropical country as a place with good governance, unspoiled natural beauty, and leadership on climate change action. 

What's even better is the fact that Americans have the same rights as Costa Ricans when it comes to home ownership. And – Costa Rica is actively building condos, including in popular locations such as Tamarindo and Jaco. While Costa Rica is quite a bit further away from the US than Mexico, it will appeal to buyers who want a home in a more tranquil and pristine location. 

Anna Cottrell

Anna Cottrell is Consumer Editor across Future Plc Home titles. She has a background in academic research and is the author of London Writing of the 1930s. She writes about interior design, property, and gardening.