30 places Google says Americans want to buy vacation homes, from Canada to Argentina

  • Exotic locales from Canada to South America draw millions of tourists every year.
  • But some vacationers are looking for more than a one-time visit — they want a home away from home.
  • Based on Google searches originating in the US, these are the top 30 countries in North, South, and Central America where people are eyeing a vacation home.

If you've ever fantasized about turning your getaway dreams into reality, you've got company.

Approximately 14% of realtor respondents in the National Association of Realtors' Profile of International Activity in US Residential Real Estate said they had a US client seeking property abroad — 87% of those clients sought to use the property as a vacation home.

In a recent report, Point2 Homes revealed the most popular spots Americans were looking to buy a vacation home.

To compile this data, they ranked US users' Google searches from January 2017 to January 2018 using keywords regarding homes for sale abroad in countries located in the Americas. The countries were then ranked based on average monthly search volume.

Below, check out the top 30 countries Americans are dreaming of making their home away from home.

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Where Americans are buying vacation homes, according to Google
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Where Americans are buying vacation homes, according to Google

30. British Virgin Islands — The 60-island archipelago has specifically seen an uptick in demand for high-end properties, particularly in Tortola and Virgin Gorda, its two most populated islands.

Monthly Google searches: 1,990

Source: Global Property Buying Guide 

Photo credit: Getty

29. Saint Martin — The French side of the island has no shortage of luxury villas and sea views, with homes for sale under $200,000.

Monthly Google searches: 2,160

Source: Point2 Homes 

Photo credit: Getty

28. Turks and Caicos Islands — It's easy to see the appeal of the last outpost of the Caribbean thanks to its 250 days of sunshine. With the promise of its first-ever cliffside residences come 2020, the islands might rank even higher on this list in a few years.

Monthly Google searches: 2,210

Source: Turks and Caicos TourismAOL 

Photo credit: Getty

27. Saint Vincent & the Grenadines — Tranquil, quiet, and less traveled, St. Vincent & the Grenadines is favored for its privacy and hideaways. Even Mick Jagger has a home here.

Monthly Google searches: 2,250

Source: Sotheby's International Realty 

Photo credit: Getty

26. Saint Lucia — Picturesque Saint Lucia has an up-and-coming real estate market, with 25% of foreign buyers from the US. Two-bedroom, two-bath townhouse apartments in Rodney Bay start at $350,000 to $400,000.

Monthly Google searches: 2,390

Source: New York Times 

Photo credit: AOL 

25. Uruguay — The cost of living index in Uruguay is 66.88. Modest homes away from the beach start at $200,000, while luxury properties near the beach typically start under $2 million.

Monthly Google searches: 2,500

Source: NumbeoThe New York Times 

Photo credit: Getty

24. Cuba — While the US trade embargo prohibits Americans from buying property in Cuba, many have been finding loopholes — and we can see why.

Monthly Google searches: 2,790

Source: NPR 

Photo credit: Getty

23. Guatemala — Guatemala is one of four countries in Central America that offers territorial taxation, which imposes income taxes only on what you earn within its borders. The cost of living index in exotic Guatemala is 46.87.

Monthly Google searches: 2,850

Source: Nomad CapitalistNumbeo 

Photo credit: Getty

22. Brazil — Now is the time to buy in Brazil, where the residential real estate market is starting to pick up after two years of slow business.

Monthly Google searches: 2,860

Source: Global Property Buying Guide 

Photo credit: Getty

21. Sint Maarten — You can purchase a 1,200 square-foot beachfront luxury home in the capital of Philipsburg for $515,000.

Monthly Google searches: 3,200

Source: Point2 Homes 

Photo credit: Getty

20. Barbados — Located just outside the hurricane belt and boasting easy public transportation access, Barbados has many enticing benefits for American buyers.

Monthly Google searches: 3,240

Source: Point2 Homes 

Photo credit: Getty

19. Argentina — Argentina's property prices jumped 11.79% in January thanks to better mortgage access. Most international buyers are drawn to the traditional, upscale neighborhood of Recoleta in Buenos Aires, while hip Palermo is the most expensive neighborhood, averaging $3,115 per square meter.

Monthly Google searches: 3,450

Source: Buenos Aires TimesNew York Times 

Photo credit: Getty

18. Bermuda — The cost of living in the North Atlantic Ocean's paradise is among the highest in the world. In 2016, the average price for a single-family home was roughly $1.2 million.

Monthly Google searches: 4,360

Source: NumbeoGlobal Property Buying Guide 

Photo credit: Getty

17. Aruba — The typical vacation home in Aruba ranges in price from $250,000 to $600,000, but beachfront properties can run up to $9 million.

Monthly Google searches: 6,390

Source: The New York Times 

Photo credit: Getty

16. Colombia — It's hard to resist Colombia's vibrant, Spanish colonial houses and Republican mansions, which can sell for $1 million to $10 million in Old City. At the low end, a two-bedroom apartment in the same area can go for $300,000.

Monthly Google searches: 6,650

Source: The New York Times 

Photo credit: Getty

15. Chile — Home prices in Santiago are among the lowest of those in South American capital cities, with $1 million homes considered to be very high end. While there are no restrictions for foreign buyers, they must obtain a taxpayer number.

Monthly Google searches: 6,940

Source: The New York Times 

Photo credit: Getty

14. Nicaragua — Nicaragua's Pacific coast has miles of beachfront living. The most popular areas are "the Emerald Coast," San Juan del Sur, and the coastal areas near Leon, Poneloya, and Las Peñitas.

Monthly Google searches: 7,460

Source: International Living 

Photo credit: Getty

13. Cayman Islands — The Cayman Islands' zero-tax regime of no income taxes, property taxes, estate taxes, or capital gains taxes has drawn an affluent expat community. Expect high prices for homes, from $600,000 to upwards of $2 million.

Monthly Google searches: 7,590

Source: Mansion GlobalFinancial Times 

Photo credit: AOL 

12. Ecuador — Home to the Galapagos Islands, Ecuador may be more removed from the US, but it offers some amazing real estate prices. It's not difficult to find a 3,000-5,000 square-foot oceanfront home for under $300,000.

Monthly Google searches: 9,900

Source: Point2 Homes 

Photo credit: Getty

11. Honduras — The Bay Islands in Honduras are the country's prime jewel for real estate, particularly well-developed Roatán, which is home to several thousand foreign residents. While ocean-view real estate is on the climb, it's still more affordable than other Caribbean Islands.

Monthly Google searches: 11,380

Source: International Living 

Photo credit: Getty

10. Jamaica — The largest English-speaking island in the Caribbean, Jamaica has a cost of living index of 60.62 and entices with its laid-back reggae lifestyle.

Monthly Google searches: 15,730

Source: NumbeoGlobal Property Guide 

Photo credit: Getty

9. Dominican Republic — The Dominican Republic has a lot going for it: sandy beaches, a 50% property tax exemption for foreign buyers, and beachfront properties as low as $150,000.

Monthly Google searches: 16,390

Source: Point2 Homes 

Photo credit: Getty

8. Bahamas — One-bedroom apartments for sale in Nassau, Freeport, Governor's Harbor, and Paradise Island are priced lower than those in American seaside cities, such as Miami or Tampa.

Monthly Google searches: 17,730

Source: USA Today 

Photo credit: Getty

7. Panama — The cost of living in Panama is about 15% to 20% cheaper than the US, and it has a well-established expat community of about 20,000 to 30,000 Americans and Canadians. From Bocas Del Toro to Ancón in Panama City, there are plenty of options for foreign buyers.

Monthly Google searches: 19,660

Source: Point2 Homes 

Photo credit: Getty

6. US Virgin Islands — Aside from some of the Caribbean's best beaches, the Virgin Islands are home to favorable tax rates. Homeowners pay an effective tax rate of 0.75% of the property's fair market value.

Monthly Google searches: 23,910

Source: Mansion Global 

Photo credit: Getty

5. Belize — Ranked by CNBC as a top picture-perfect location for retirement, this English-speaking nation gives foreigners the same homeownership rights as locals, has low real estate taxes, and offers a low cost of living.

Monthly Google searches: 30,910

Source: Point2 Homes 

Photo credit: Getty

4. Costa Rica — Many Americans want to live the Pura Vida in this tropical paradise, often seeking a home in the surf haven of Tamarindo, where you can buy a 3-bedroom condo for the US's median home price of $240,000.

Monthly Google searches: 39,620

Source: Point2 Homes 

Photo credit: Getty

3. Puerto Rico — While an interest in homes declined post-Hurricane Maria, this hasn't prevented Puerto Rico from ranking in the top five as it rebuilds. The median home price on the Island of Enchantment is $115,000.

Monthly Google searches: 46,600

Source: Point2 Homes

Photo credit: Getty

2. Canada — Even though Canada is the least affordable nation in North America with a median home price of $460,221, its beautiful landscapes and long ski seasons are hard to resist. Ottawa, Calgary, Edmonton, and Winnipeg are particularly attractive to buyers.

Monthly Google searches: 55,290

Source: Point2 Homes 

Photo credit: Getty

1. Mexico — With an affordable average home sale price of $40,275 and picturesque beaches, it's no surprise Mexico ranks number one. Puerto Vallarta is the most sought-after location, with the most Google searches at 10,230.

Monthly Google searches: 63,890

Source: Point2 Homes 

Photo credit: Getty

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