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International Sales at $68.2 Billion in 12 Months Ending March 2013

The recently released 2013 Profile of International Home Buying Activity reports that total residential sales dollar volume to international clients was at its second highest level in recent years for the 12 months ending March 2013. International clients are estimated to have purchased $68.2 billion of residential property in the U.S., approximately 6.3 percent of the total dollar value of the U.S. Existing Homes Sales (EHS) market of $ 1.08 trillion. The information covers property sold by REALTORS® through the Multiple Listing Services and is based on responses by over 3,300 REALTORS®.

Although sales dropped from the previous level of $82.5 billion, the dip is believed to be due to transitory economic conditions. Slower growth in a number of major economies, rising U.S. prices for residential real estate, the strengthening of the dollar against other currencies resulting in higher effective prices for foreign buyers, a slow recovery of the U.S. economy, tight credit standards, and lower housing inventories are believed to have contributed to the decline.

What Does This Mean to REALTORS®? There is significant major foreign interest in U.S. properties. None of the conditions that slowed international transactions in 2012 appear to be permanent and should dissipate over time.

Jed Smith, Managing Director, Quantitative Research

Jed Smith is Managing Director, Quantitative Research with the National Association of Realtors®. He has worked on real estate issues for the past 20 years, providing input on a variety of housing, commercial real estate, tax, and planning issues. Recently he has been involved in several international studies.

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