Favorable exchange rates and relatively low prices are helping boost sales of U.S.real estate to foreign buyers, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR).
NAR's 2014 Profile of International Home Buyers shows that for the 12-month period ending in March foreign purchases of U.S. residential real estate totaled about $92.2 billion, a 35-percent increase compared with the previous 12 months.
Chinese buyers led the way with $22 billion in purchases, or about 24 percent of all foreign sales, by dollar volume with sales volume up 19 percent.
“We live in an international marketplace; so while all real estate is local, that does not mean that all property buyers are,” said NAR President Steve Brown and a broker in Dayton, Ohio. “Foreign buyers are being enticed to U.S. real estate because of what they recognize as attractive prices, economic stability, and an incredible opportunity for investment in their future.”
According to Realtor.org, international buyers and recent immigrants purchased homes throughout the country (Minnesota was not high on the list), but four states accounted for 55 percent of those purchases: Florida, California, Arizona and Texas. Florida was the destination of choice for those buyers from abroad, staking claim to 23 percent of all foreign purchases. California was second with 14 percent, Texas had 12 percent and Arizona with 6 percent.
Los Angeles, Miami, Las Vegas, Orlando and New York City were the top five cities searched online by international buyers last year.