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4 Top Real Estate Markets for Foreign Buyers

California
Property buyers from Australia, China, South Korea, Japan and India are streaming into California, where foreigners account for 11% of all home sales.

"[California] ends up being kind of the gateway to the United States for the South Pacific," says Sharran Srivatsaa, president of L.A.'s Teles Properties.

He says foreign buyers love the Golden State's climate and Hollywood image -- not to mention recession-reduced home prices far below what foreigners pay back home.

"It's easier to find a $1 million or $2 million property that's a good value in Los Angeles than it is in Melbourne or Sydney," Srivatsaa says.

Many foreign buyers gravitate to famous California communities such as Beverly Hills, Bel Air or Pebble Beach.

But Teles CEO Loewy says some Chinese buyers prefer Alhambra, Pasadena, San Francisco and other areas with large Chinese populations.

"We have a fair number of Chinese neighborhoods where you can walk down the street and see Chinese shops and people reading Chinese-language newspapers," he says. "It gives [some Chinese buyers] an extra sense of comfort."

Either way, Loewy says foreign buyers are really helping the state's long-struggling housing market rebound.

"[Foreigners] have to some extent helped the ability of people to 'move up' in the market, and we're starting to see high-end luxury homes really sell way faster," he says.

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