International buyers scale back purchases of US homes

NAR: Economic conditions, tight financing and limited inventory dampen sales

Foreign buyers purchased a smaller share of U.S. homes sold in the year through March 2013 compared to the year before, according to an annual report from the National Association of Realtors. An 11.5 percent drop in average sales price, to $354,193, coupled with fewer sales, resulted in a 17.4 percent drop in total sales dollar volume for international sales, to $68.2 billion, according to NAR’s 2013 Profile of International Home Buying Activity. International sales accounted for about 6.3 percent of the $1.08 trillion in total U.S. existing-home sales, down from 8.9 percent in last year’s report. "Foreign buyers are experiencing hurdles not only abroad, but also here in the U.S. when it comes to purchasing property," said NAR President Gary Thomas in a statement. "Difficult economic conditions, particularly in Europe, have impacted foreign buyers, but several factors in the U.S. have also affected their purchasing power here. Tight credit standards have made financing c...