A new report published by American real estate portal Inman News has highlighted the top ten locations in the United States (US) for global property buyers and investors.

According to the report, foreign buyers account for a small but growing segment of overall US property sales. Of the US$1.06 trillion (RM3.25 million) in the 12 months ending March 2011, some 7.7 percent – or US$82 billion (RM251 billion) – came from foreign buyers. Two groups accounted for about US$41 billion (RM126 billion) each: foreign buyers with permanent residences outside the US, and buyers who are recent immigrants of less than two years or temporary visa holders residing in the US for more than six months, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR) 2011 profile.

NAR data also revealed that 26 percent of all foreign buyers came from Asia. That figures is likely to have increased during the last 12 months on the back of increasing advertising directed at buyers and investors from this part of the world.

Most overseas buyers of US property are focusing their attentions on Florida (31 percent) with the average price paid by international buyers recorded at US$315,000 (RM965,000) – ahead of the US average of US$218,000 (RM668,000). Almost two-thirds of international buyers are choosing detached homes, while the same proportion of buyers are paying cash for their purchases.

The Lakeland-Winter Haven area of central Florida came out on top in Inman News’ report of top locations for international property buyers.

Michael Andrew Stone of Sold-By-Stones Real Estate Company, a company that transacts property in the area, told PropertyGuru: “I can confirm that we are experiencing an increase in the number of foreign real estate buyers inquiring about and ultimately purchasing real estate in Lakeland and Winter Haven in Florida. Some of the attributing factors that make our area popular have remained the same for years including our centralised location between the major metropolitan cities of Tampa and Orlando, both accessible within an hour, and both offer major airports along with unlimited entertainment, shopping and dining opportunities.

“We can access beaches on either the east and west coasts in under an hour and a half leisurely drive. Our low cost of living relative to other US states and other locales within Florida continues to keep us as a popular choice to call home. Last, but most certainly not least, is our desirable Florida climate which provides a year round haven for people from around the globe.”

He added: “There are a lot of contributing factors that make Lakeland and Winter Haven a desirable place to call home, and the future remains bright for our area. It’s nice to see this level of positive activity at a time when other areas are still struggling.

Top ten locations for foreign buyers in the U.S:

1. Lakeland-Winter Haven, Florida.

2. Cape Coral-Fort Myers, Florida.

3. Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, Florida..

4. North Point-Bradenton-Sarasota, Florida.

5. Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach, Florida

6. Phoenix-Mesa-Glendale, Arizona.

7. New York County, N.Y. (Manhattan)

8. Honolulu, Hawaii. (pictured)

9. Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, Florida.

10. Las Vegas-Paradise, Nevada.

The full report can be read here: http://www.inman.com/news/2012/03/23/10-us-real-estate-markets-drawing-international-buyers

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