Northern Virginia – An International Real Estate Investing Mecca

Washington DC Capitol , USA

Northern Virginia – An International Real Estate Investing Mecca

While the US as a whole continues to experience widespread interest from the international real estate investing sector, there are a few spots in the country that stand out. Of course, you’ll find New York and San Francisco on the list, as well as Houston. However, you’ll also find Washington D.C. on the list. While the D.C. area as a whole has fallen to fifth place in the nation, northern Virginia has risen, with cities like Arlington, Alexandria and Richmond becoming preeminent places for international real estate investors and relocation.

Why the Influx?

Why is northern Virginia experiencing such a massive influx of new residents from around the world? Actually, there are quite a few reasons, and each ethnic group moving here has a different driving force. Chinese residents are the fastest growing segment of the state’s population, and they’re coming to take advantage of employment, affordable housing and good schools. Indian residents have similar needs, and actually make up the most affluent demographic in the US (as well as in Virginia). Other nationalities come for a number of other reasons, including:

  • Affordable real estate – This is particularly true in comparison with the greater D.C. area, New York and San Francisco.
  • Excellent earning potential – Northern Virginia residents enjoy a higher annual income on average than anywhere else in the country.
  • Employment outlook – Tech companies as well as a range of other employers are moving to the state in significant numbers, offering excellent employment options.
  • A cultural melting pot – Virginia, particularly the northern half, is becoming a true cultural melting pot, and many foreign investors choose to move here to take advantage of that.

Where Are They Moving?

So, where are international buyers purchasing real estate? Where are they moving? You have a few main hubs – Richmond, Arlington and Alexandria, for instance. These cities offer direct access to Washington D.C. and the halls of power without forcing residents to actually live in the nation’s capital. There are other areas as well. For example, Fairfax County is home to almost 200,000 Asian residents.

Of course, not all international relocations are to major cities like those listed above. Others choose to move outlying areas where property prices are even lower, or to education hubs like Charlottesville.

What Are They Buying?

Predicting what various international buyers are purchasing is difficult, mainly because of the wide discrepancies between nations of origin, reasons for moving to Virginia and other factors. International real estate investors not relocating to the area tend to invest in multifamily properties, including apartments and condos. Townhomes are also popular. However, those choosing to move to the state permanently or semi-permanently purchase single-family homes or condos in walkable neighborhoods (this last is a prime target for Indian buyers, who value the ability to get around on foot).

The old Virginia is long gone – today’s state is culturally diverse and becoming increasingly more so every day. It’s an amazing time to live in northern Virginia, regardless of your nation of birth.


Contact Gene Mock, Associate Broker, Premier Team, Keller Williams Realty for more information about moving to Northern VA

Gene Mock Realtor



Factors Driving Canadian Immigration for Northern Virginia

Factors Driving Canadian Immigration for Northern Virginia

Northern Virginia is a diverse place, with wilderness areas, highly urbanized areas and everything in between. It’s one of the fastest growing sections of the nation in terms of international immigration, and regularly attracts individuals and families from all around the world, including our northern neighbor, Canada. What are the major factors that attract Canadian immigrants to northern Virginia? Actually, you’ll find they’re pretty similar to what brings others to the state, with a couple of differences.

Stone house with beautiful sunny garden

Proximity to D.C.

Perhaps the most common reason for moving to northern Virginia is to be close to Washington D.C. From Richmond to Alexandria and a number of other cities, Canadian immigrants find that it’s more convenient to live in Virginia and commute to D.C., whether they’re working in the government sector, education, technology or something else.

 US Capitol

Cost of Living

Potential residents find that it’s cheaper to live in Virginia than D.C. as well. According to Zillow, Richmond has a cost of living index of 99, which is slightly below the national average of 100, but significantly lower than Washington D.C.’s 140. So, immigrants are able to get more bang for their buck in all areas of their lives, from real estate to groceries to gas and entertainment.


Quite a few Canadians choose to move to northern Virginia for the climate (combined with other factors, of course). With the state’s warm summers and cool, but not cold, winters, it’s an inviting difference in comparison to the climate of many areas in Canada, as well as the US Northeast.

 property 03

Income Potential

While not true across all areas of northern Virginia, the area in general has a higher than average annual income ($61,000 per year). That increases the closer to D.C. and other developed areas you get, and is actually about $9,000 per year more than the US national average. Canadian immigrants choose to move here to take advantage of the higher quality of living and the better income potential than what’s possible in other areas of the US, or at home in Canada.

 Julia Robert

 Real Estate Prices

You’d expect an area with a higher income potential to have higher real estate prices, but Virginia’s real estate is actually relatively reasonable, even within urbanized areas. Move out of Alexandria and Richmond and you’ll find those prices drop considerably, and rural areas are even more affordable. Canadian residents find that this enables them to own more home for less money than would be possible in another state.


 Retirement Areas

One of the major demographics seeing growth in northern Virginia is those aged 55 and up. The state attracts Canadians, US residents from the Northeast, and even those who’ve moved to Florida only to find that it didn’t really agree with them. Winchester, Williamsburg, Alexandria and Prince George are just a few of the areas popular with Canadians seeking a retirement home.

As you can see, there are numerous compelling reasons for Canadians to call northern Virginia home, but they are just one of a number of international investors.

Senior Couple Walking Along Golf Course Carrying Bags

Factors Driving Canadian Immigration for Northern Virginia


Contact Gene Mock, Premier Team, Keller Williams Realty 703-342-8100

We have locations to serve you in Northern Virginia, Maryland and Washington, DC


Gene Mock Realtor