U.S. Housing Market Attracts International Buyers
International homebuyers - those with permanent residences outside the U.S., recent immigrants and temporary visa holders - purchased $66 billion of U.S. residential property, or 7% of the market, in the year ending March 2010, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR).
The decline in real estate prices, an oversupply of housing, high foreclosure rates and the weak dollar, in comparison with other currencies, have made the U.S. housing market very attractive to international buyers.
When considering currencies, Europeans have a large advantage. The Euro is 25% stronger than the U.S. dollar. The Canadians have a currency advantage, as well. The value of the Canadian dollar is now equal to the value of the U.S. dollar, making this the best time in decades for Canadians to purchase a home in the U.S.
Canadian buyers currently account for 23% of international purchases in the U.S. That's the largest portion of all international buyers, up from 11% three years ago. According to a study by Information Market, this year in Phoenix - for the first time on record - buyers from Canada outpaced buyers from California.