The U.S. continues to remain a top destination for foreign buyers as international purchases surged by $16 billion this year – one of the highest increases in recent years – according to the National Association of Realtors®’ 2011 Profile of International Home Buying Activity.
According to the survey, total residential international sales in the U.S. for the year ending March 2011 equaled $82 billion, up from $66 billion in 2010.
Florida had 31 percent of total international transactions this year, the most of any state. California had 12 percent, Texas had nine percent, and Arizona rounded out the top four with six percent of international transactions.
Historically, foreign buyers have been attracted to property ownership in the U.S. for a number of reasons. U.S. homes are generally less expensive than comparable foreign properties, homes in this country are viewed as a secure investment, and the U.S. market offers rental opportunities and long-term appreciation potential.
More recently, Realtors have noticed new factors motivating foreign buyers. Many U.S. colleges and universities have a significant number of international students, and some foreign families are purchasing U.S. properties in college areas so their child has a place to live. Another source of international demand is foreign executives temporarily working in the U.S., some of whom prefer to purchase a residence instead of renting.
The average price paid by an international buyer was $315,000 compared to the overall U.S. average of $218,000. However, 45 percent of international purchases were under $200,000. This price segment has grown significantly over the years, most likely due to overall price declines in the U.S., as well as the strengthening of some foreign currencies.
Sixty-one percent of foreign buyers purchased a single-family home while 36 percent bought a condo/apartment or townhouse.
In addition, 62 percent of international purchases were reported as being all cash. This percentage is significantly higher than all-cash purchases for domestic buyers, mostly due to the differences in international credit reporting standards.
If you are interested in selling your home, make sure to use a Real Estate Brokerage who knows how to market your home to out of state and international buyers.
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