Second-home buying abroad slows down

Equity losses, not subprime woes, are to blame

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CORAL GABLES, Fla. -- While the subprime market crisis is affecting credit markets around the world, baby boomers and retirees can still find funding for their second homes, especially in countries with a stable political environment and solid infrastructure. According to experts gathered for the recent Latin America Real Estate Conference, the desire to seek vacation and second homes abroad has just begun, even though some potential buyers are stymied by the flat or dwindling values of their primary home. Dr. Stephen Roulac, chief executive of Roulac Global Places, a San Rafael, Calif.-based consulting firm that advises senior management and investors in real estate affairs, told conference attendees that the trend of North Americans to acquire real estate in popular Latin America countries such as Mexico, Costa Rica and Panama has very little to do with the subprime issues in the United States. "There's really no direct correlation at all," Roulac said. "Most of the peopl...