Wealthy foreigners from around the globe are taking advantage of America's housing bust to snap up U.S. properties at cut-rate prices — helping local markets rebound in the process.
“We've seen foreign investors buy $10 million to $20 million worth of property in a single trip,” says Peter Loewy of Los Angeles-based Teles Properties. “They think this is a good place to park money, and it's less expensive than their real estate back home.”
A recent National Association of Realtors (NAR) study estimated that foreigners and immigrants who've lived here less than two years spent $82.5 billion on U.S. investment property in the 12 months ended March 31, 2012. That's about 9% of the total paid for all U.S. housing purchases during the period.