Foreigners Gobbling Up American Homes

Nonnatives take 8.9% of home real estate sales
By Liam Carnahan,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 12, 2012 1:13 PM CDT
FILE - In this Friday, Dec. 2, 2011 file photo, a sign advertises a house for sale in The Lakes neighborhood of Las Vegas.    (AP Photo/Isaac Brekken, File)

(Newser) – The Canadians are coming ... for our real estate. A weakened dollar coupled with a buyer's market is prompting foreigners to snatch up expensive homes here in the US. Of the $928 billion spent on US real estate in the year ending in March, $82.5 billion came from foreigners. Our neighbors to the north accounted for the most, with 24% of all foreign home sales, followed by the Chinese at 11%, reports Forbes. And while Russians might get the most media attention for the millions they drop on swanky apartments, buyers hail from all corners of the globe, including Argentina, South Korea, Armenia, Peru, Brazil, and Malaysia.

High-end real estate agents say many of their clients are looking to snatch up low-priced (relatively speaking) property that will serve as vacation homes. European buyers are looking to safeguard their assets during the continent's shaky economic period, while Venezuelans want to protect their money from the political turmoil in their home country. East Coast properties seem to be popular among Latin American buyers, while Asian buyers prefer homes on the West Coast. Around half of all foreign home sales happen in just five states: Florida, California, Texas, Arizona, and New York.

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