Lured by some of the lowest housing prices in a decade, foreign-born residents and visitors are buying U.S. properties at a rapid rate. More than 8 percent of all real estate sales in 2010 were to foreign nationals, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR).
Mortgage companies offer a variety of products to foreign nationals but the products’ accessibility and terms depend on the borrower’s immigration status and documentation of credit status in his or her home country.
International interest in U.S. properties is growing fast. Sales of real estate to foreigners increased from $66 billion in 2009 to $82 billion in 2010, according to NAR data.
In Florida, which accounts for 10 percent of the country’s immigrant population, foreign buyers accounted for almost 31 percent of all real estate transactions. Other states popular with foreign homebuyers include California, Texas, Arizona, Illinois, Tennessee and New York.
Foreign nationals tend to buy homes in communities where they already have roots or where large immigrant populations exist. In Florida, Cubans, Haitians and Colombians account for the majority of foreign buyers while in most of the Southwest, Mexicans make up the majority. Canadians are buying heavily all across the country.
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