Weak dollar prompts foreign buyers to home in on US property
Posted 15 June 2012 - 05:33 PM
A weak dollar and the tumbling house prices that resulted in foreclosures across America have attracted a wave of buyers from Europe, Asia, Canada and Latin America.
International buyers accounted for $82.5bn (£52.7bn) of homes sold in the US in the year to March, almost 9% of sales, according to a survey by the National Association of Realtors – a jump of 24% from the previous year.
US house prices crashed spectacularly in 2007 and are still more than 30% lower than their peak in 2006, but recent data suggests they are bottoming out.
The S&P/Case Shiller index of prices gained 0.1% in March, though it was still down 2.6% from a year ago. The dollar's weakness has also drawn new buyers.
The National Association of Realtors president, Moe Veissi, said: "Low housing prices, a good inventory condition and increased buying power with today's exchange rates help attract international clients."
Five states accounted for 55% of purchases – Florida, California, Texas, Arizona and New York. Florida was the fastest growing destination, accounting for 26% of foreign sales.
More than half of foreign buyers came from Canada, China, Mexico, India and Britain.
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