What’s stopping well-heeled Americans from up and moving to another country? These days, not much.
Turns out, more high-net-worth homebuyers than ever are seizing the opportunity to live overseas. According to data from the 2022 Coldwell Banker Global Luxury Report, a whopping 92 percent of wealthy Americans were actively looking to relocate abroad last year. Factors including profitable exchange rates, the shift to remote work and a very strong US dollar have all helped turn this once far-flung fantasy into a reality. Though, 67 percent admitted to already owning property outside the US.
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“We saw renewed interest among wealthy investors in international buying in 2022 in part because of built-up demand after not traveling for years,” Michael Altneu, vice president of global luxury for Coldwell Banker Realty in Los Angeles, told Mansion Global. “Plus US economic conditions were more challenging in 2022, so investors looked for strength abroad and wanted to expand their borders.”
Wondering where all the expats are settling down? Well, think anywhere with warm weather and the ability to live off-grid. The report named Central America, North America (Canada and Mexico) and Asia among the most alluring destinations. More specifically, countries including France, Portugal, Belize, Costa Rica and Panama remain especially compelling—especially for foreigners interested in citizen-by-investment programs or those who plan on renting out their homes.
“There’s immense interest in countries that offer a ‘golden passport’ that provides citizenship or a visa for both primary and secondary residences,” Altneu explained. “We’ve seen a lot of people buy one place for themselves in Costa Rica and then two or three others as investments.”
Take it from Lief Simon, co-owner of Live and Invest Overseas, who splits his time between Paris and Panama. He told Mansion Global about a couple he knows who have purchased residences across seven different countries within the past 18 months and have no plans on slowing down. “That lifestyle pays for itself because they rent out the properties when they’re not using them,” Simon said.
Even if you don’t plan on opening up your abode to travelers, it’s still a great time to expand your real estate portfolio.