Foreign buyers could be buoying the sagging United States real estate market, according to the National Association of Realtors’ 2011 Profile of International Home Buying Activity.
For the past year ending March 2011, total residential international sales in the U.S. totaled $82 billion, up from $66 billion in 2010.
Sales were split evenly between non-resident foreigners and recent immigrants, and came from 70 different countries, up from 53 countries in 2010.
For the fourth year running, Canada was the top foreign investor, with 23 percent of sales, followed by China with nine percent of international sales.
Tied for third were Mexico, the United Kingdom, and India.
Argentina and Brazil took the fourth and fifth spot with combined foreign sales of five percent, up from two percent in 2010.
These top five countries accounted for 53 percent of international residential home sales transactions in 2011.
Florida accounted for 31 percent of total international transactions, followed by California at 12 percent, Texas at nine percent, and Arizona with six percent.
Average Price Paid $315,000
The average price paid for a home by a foreign buyer was $315,000, compared to the $218,000 price tag seen on all U.S. homes.
However, 45 percent of international purchases were under the $200,000 mark.
Additionally, 62 percent of international purchases were reported as being all cash transactions, sans mortgage.
Sixty-one percent of foreign buyers purchased a single-family home, while 36 percent went with a condo/apartment or townhouse.
Tip: How to get a mortgage.