In the 12 months ending in March, foreign buyers purchased $153 billion worth of U.S. residential real estate, a 49 percent increase from the previous 12 month cycle.
CNBC reports that foreign buyers closed on 284,455 homes, a 32 percent increase from the previous year. Foreign sales were 10 percent of all existing home sales by dollar value. Half of all foreign sales were in Florida, California, and Texas.
The jump follows a year-earlier retreat and comes as a surprise, given the current strength of the U.S. dollar against most foreign currencies, which makes U.S. housing even more expensive. Apparently, the value of a financial safe-haven is outweighing the rising costs.
Chinese buyers spent the most, at $31.7 billion, and purchased the most expensive homes. The average purchase price for buyers from China was $782,000. In comparison, the average home for an Indian buyer was $522,000, and the typical home for a Mexican buyer was $327,000.
Buyers from Canada spent $19 billion on residential properties. Many of the Canadian buyers were older Baby Boomers who wanted to relocate to Florida.