Overseas Investors Increase U.S. Home Buying
Foreign investment in American homes increased substantially since March 2011, helping to turn around a market with deflated prices and an overage of available distressed homes.
The dollar volume of U.S. homes sold to foreign buyers rose 24 percent in the 12 months preceding March 2012, as investors from across the globe capitalized on low prices and favorable exchange rates.
Foreign buyers, led by buyers from Canada, China, the UK, India and Mexico spent about $82.5 billion in that period, upwardly revised from $66.4 billion a year earlier, according to the National Association of Realtors. That accounted for 4.8 percent of the $928.2 billion U.S. home sales market, the organization reported.
''Low housing prices, a good inventory condition and increased buying power with today's exchange rates help attract international clients,'' NAR President Moe Veissi said in a statement.
U.S. home prices were 35 percent below their July 2006 peak as of March 31, according to the most recent S&P/Case-Schiller index of values in 20 cities. More than half of the purchases were made in Arizona, California, Florida and Texas, according to the report. Florida has been the fastest-growing destination of choice, accounting for 26 percent of overseas transactions. California was second with 11 percent and Texas and Arizona accounted for 7 percent each.