Real estate tourism: Who's really buying America's homes?
- Since the housing bust, foreign buyers have flooded the U.S. housing market, taking advantage of favorable exchange rates, weaker prices and, in some cases, record-low mortgage rates. Foreign nationals accounted for $82.5 billion, or 8.9%, of the $928 billion spent on U.S. residential real estate from April 2011 through March 2012, according a June survey from the National Association of Realtors. That was up 24% from $66.4 billion the previous year. More than 50% of sales over the past year occurred in just five states: Florida, California, Texas, Arizona and New York.