NAR said foreign buyers bought $82.5 billion of U.S. homes in the 12 months through March 2012, or 4.8 percent of the $928.2 billion market, versus $66.4 billion a year earlier.

Arizona, California, Florida and Texas were 51 percent of the foreign purchases, Canadians 24 percent, Chinese 11 percent, Mexicans 8 percent, India and the U.K. each 6 percent of purchases.

Foreign buyers paid an average of $400,000 versus the $212,000 overall average sale. 62 percent of deals were cash – foreign buyers lack a credit history or lenders don’t offer mortgages for overseas purchases.

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