Nearly one in five Realtors has sold a home to an international client in the past year, according to new research by the National Association of Realtors (NAR). Among the other findings reported in the 2007 NAR Profile of International Home Buying Activity:

– In 2006, most international homebuyers purchased single-family homes or townhomes. Like most domestic homebuyers, they financed their purchase.

– Twenty-two percent of international buyers purchased condos or apartments, versus 12 percent of U.S. buyers.

– Twenty-eight percent of foreign buyers bought their houses with cash, compared with 8 percent of U.S. buyers.

– The median sales price of homes purchased by international buyers was $299,500, which is significantly higher than the U.S. median of $221,900 during the same period.

– Forty-seven percent of all international buyers purchased homes exclusively for vacation, while 22 percent were motivated primarily by investment.

– A third of all international buyers are from Europe, but buyers from Asia and North America (outside the United States) each represent about one-fourth of the total market. Sixteen percent of all international buyers are from Latin America. By individual country, most buyers come from Mexico (13 percent), the United Kingdom (12 percent) and Canada (11 percent).

– Twenty-six percent of sales to foreign buyers in 2006 were in Florida, while 16 percent were in California and 10 percent were in Texas. The South attracted 49 percent of international buyers last year, while the West attracted 31 percent.

Source: NAR