NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Foreign Buyers Lifting U.S. Home Sales

July 7, 2011

Foreign buyers are helping to stoke home sales in U.S. vacation hot spots decimated by the real estate crash, especially in southern Florida, says USA Today.

  • For the 12 months ending in March, 31 percent of Florida's home sales were to foreign buyers, up from 10 percent in 2007, according to a survey by the National Association of Realtors.
  • In Arizona, 6 percent of sales in the same period were to foreigners.
  • That was down from 11 percent last year but still up from 5 percent in 2007.

Foreign buyers are being enticed by low U.S. home prices, down 30 percent nationwide since peaking in 2006, and the weakened dollar, which makes their money go further.  Since the start of 2006, the Canadian dollar has soared 18 percent against the U.S. dollar, while the euro has gained 22 percent, says data tracker Oanda.

U.S. home prices, meanwhile, have fallen far more than the national average in some places -- down 55 percent from their peaks in Miami-Fort Lauderdale and Phoenix and 36 percent in Los Angeles, according to

  • The number of U.S. homes sold to foreigners dropped to 288,000 in the 12 months ending in March, from 224,000 a year earlier, the Realtors survey shows.
  • The largest share of foreign buyers, 23 percent, comes from Canada.
  • China followed at 9 percent.

Source: Julie Schmit, "Foreign Buyers Lifting U.S. Home Sales," USA Today, July 6, 2011.

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