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Overseas buyers snatching up pricey homes

NAR: International sales volume up 24 percent

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Though U.S. home sales to foreign buyers declined slightly in the year through March 2012, a preference for more expensive homes pushed the total sales volume of international sales up by 24 percent, according to an annual report from the National Association of Realtors. NAR's 2012 Profile of International Home Buying Activity includes results from 1,745 member respondents surveyed in April 2012. The survey covered purchases of U.S. residential real estate by international clients in the 12 months through March 2012. International clients were divided into two groups: foreign buyers with permanent residences outside the U.S., and buyers who are recent immigrants of less than two years or temporary visa holders residing in the U.S. for more than six months. In the year through March 2012, each group accounted for an equal number of international sales, a total of 206,192, or 4.7 percent of overall home sales in that year. That total is down 2.2 percent from 2011, when internation...