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Chinese Lead U.S. Home Sales to Foreigners

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International buyers spent $92.2 billion in 2013 on U.S. properties, up from $68.2 billion a year earlier, a 35 percent jump, according to the National Association of Realtors.

The increase in international sales was fueled by a 72 percent increase in activity from Chinese buyers, who purchased $22 billion in U.S. real estate, or 24 percent of total foreign sales, NAR reports. Chinese purchases of U.S. real estate rose from $12.8 billion, or 19 percent of total foreign sales last year.

“We live in an international marketplace; so while all real estate is local, that does not mean that all property buyers are,” said Steve Brown, NAR president and co-owner of Irongate, Inc. Realtors in Dayton, Ohio. “Foreign buyers are being enticed to U.S. real estate because of what they recognize as attractive prices, economic stability, and an incredible opportunity for investment in their future.”

The report — titled “2014 Profile of International Home Buying Activity” — found that Chinese buyers’ favorite state is California, which accounted for 35 percent of sales, followed  by Washington (9 percent), New York (7 percent), Pennsylvania (6 percent) and Texas (6 percent).

Global buyers search for U.S. properties come from around the world. Overseas buyers come largely from five countries. Chinese buyers were by far the largest foreign buyers measured by dollar volume. Canadians were a distant second with $13.8 billion in sales, followed by England and India, each with $5.8 billion.

A handful of states accounted for the bulk of overseas sales. Florida topped the nation as the state of choice among international buyers, attracting 23 percent of sales transactions, according to the NAR report. California was distant second with 14 percent, flowed by Texas with 12 percent and Arizona at 6  percent.

About 60 percent of purchases by foreigners were all-cash deals, the NAR said.

Overall, overseas buyers made up roughly 7 percent of all U.S. hone sales by dollar value.

Additionally, RealtyTrac released a report in April showing a 70 percent increase in RealtyTrac subscriber activity from 2012 to 2013 for subscribers from China. You can watch the video here.

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