U.S. real estate a ‘bargain’ for foreign buyers

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Two years ago, while attending a home-builder convention in Orlando, Fla., a top-producing local real estate agent was bubbling over the interior design features of a vacation home. "All of my international buyers are just going to love this," the agent said. "I can't wait to tell them what's now available." I was intrigued. How many international buyers did she have? It turned out that more than 60 percent of the agent's clients were buyers from overseas. And, she is not the only real estate professional cultivating the foreign market. According to the National Association of Realtors, 65 percent of Florida Realtors had at least one international customer, and the trade group's "Profile of International Home Buying Activity" indicated that at least 7 percent of home sales in Florida were to foreign purchasers. "When you consider how the U.S. dollar has slid in value compared to other international currencies, you begin to understand why investors are purchasing real estate...