A new property listings website will aim to help overseas investors, including Australians, to purchase property in the US.
The website, www.realtor.com/international, was launched by the US-based National Association of Realtors (NAR), and Move, Inc.
“Increasingly, more and more [US] realtors are working with international clients who want to buy property in the U.S. and the new realtor.com international web site will not only allow realtors to offer their expertise and knowledge to a broader audience, but will also bring buyers and sellers together across the globe,” said NAR president Ron Phipps, broker-president of Phipps Realty in Warwick, Rhode Island.
NAR said in the past three months, nearly 2.6 million international visitors searched for U.S. real estate on realtor.com. The top five countries where searches originated from were Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany, Australia and India.
The site currently provides 4.4 million for-sale property listings displayed on realtor.com to buyers across the globe, as well as residential properties fed to the site by foreign content providers.
“At launch, realtor.com International will feature residential real estate listings from Brazil, Bulgaria, Croatia, France, Italy, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, and Spain,” NAR said.
“The realtor.com international site can also be accessed from the homepage of realtor.com."
The site will provide “enhanced translation options” in 11 languages including Chinese, Dutch, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish.
“The site also features easy-to-use currency and dimension converters available on all pages,” the organisation said.
NAR added that its 2011 Profile of International Home Buying Activity found the U.S. was a top destination for foreign buyers, “with international purchases surging $16 billion in the last year.
“According to the survey, total residential international sales last year in the U.S. equaled $82 billion. Total international sales were split evenly between non-resident foreigners and recent immigrants.
“International buyers of U.S. residential real estate came from 70 countries; the top five (Canada, Mexico, China, U.K., and India) accounted for 53 per cent of all transactions from March 2010 to March 2011.
“Most states in the U.S. had at least one international transaction, while Arizona, California, Florida, and Texas—accounted for 58 per cent of all U.S. residential transactions completed by international buyers. Proximity to the home country, the convenience of air transportation, and climate and location are the most important considerations to international buyers.”