Sales of US homes to buyers from China and Hong Kong soared 23 per cent over the 12 months to March 2012, according to a new report.
Buyers from China and Hong Kong accounted for $9 billion of sales during that period - the second largest nationality group after Canadians - up nearly a quarter from last year's $7.3 billion, and up 88 per cent on 2010's $4.8 billion, according to a report published this week from the National Association of Realtors.
"International Chinese buyers are seen as a very desirable market by real estate agents at the moment," said Jed Smith, managing director at the firm, cited in the Financial Times. "The strongest growth is coming from China, and the rise of Chinese buyers has made up for the declines in sales from the UK and Mexico."
Still, international buyers make up a tiny proportion of the total US real estate buying market - 4.8 per cent - and of that Chinese buyers make up around 11 per cent. Behind China is Mexico, India and the UK.
International buyers are heavily concentrated in four states: Florida, California, Texas and Arizona, accounting for 51 per cent of international purchases. Florida has been the fastest growing destination of choice, accounting for over a quarter of international sales.