Indians among top five buyers of property in US

Washington, July 9 (IANS) Buying property worth nearly $3.5 billion in the year ended March 2013, Indians are among top five international real estate buyers in the US, according to the National Association of Realtors.

India along with Canada, China, Mexico and the United Kingdom accounted for approximately 53 percent of international transactions worth $68.2 billion, according to a survey by the association

The five nations have historically accounted for the bulk of purchases reported from 68 countries, but Canada (23 percent) and China (12 percent) have been the fastest growing sources over the years, it said.

Mexico (8 percent), India (5 percent) and the United Kingdom (5 percent) followed, according to the survey.

International home sales in the US declined in the past year, but are at their second highest level in recent years and are over six percent of total existing-home sales in value, the survey noted.

'The 2013 Profile of International Home Buying Activity' shows interest in US properties continues to grow, signalling that America continues to be regarded by international buyers as a great place to own property, it said.

The survey, which asked realtors to report their international business activity within the US for the 12 months ending March 2013, showed that total international sales were $68.2 billion, down approximately $14 billion from the previous year.

Of total international transactions, $34.8 billion (51 percent) were attributed to foreign buyers with permanent residences outside the US and $33.4 billion (49 percent) were attributed to buyers who are recent immigrants or temporary visa holders residing for more than six months in the US.

"Foreign buyers are experiencing hurdles not only abroad, but also here in the US when it comes to purchasing property," said NAR President Gary Thomas, broker-owner of Evergreen Realty in Villa Park, California.

(Arun Kumar can be contacted at arun.kumar@ians.in)

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