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Foreign buyers cut back their
investment in U.S. residential properties over the 12 months that ended in
March. It was the second year-over-year decline. The National Association of
Realtors® (NAR) annual survey among its members about their transactions with
international clients found foreign buyers purchased $74 billion in existing U.S.
homes from April 2019 through March 2020, a 5 percent decline from the same
period a year earlier. The number of properties purchased dropped 16 percent to
154,000. Foreign buyers who were U.S. residents, either as recent immigrants or holding the appropriate visas, purchased
$41 billion in residential real estate, down 8 percent from the prior period.
Foreign buyers living abroad spent $33 billion, a 1 percent decrease. Those two
types of international buyers were responsible for 4 percent of the nation's total
existing home sales of $1.7 trillion during that period.
There was a significant decline in the number of active
COVID-19 related forbearance plans over the past week, but that decrease did
not necessarily mean homeowners were emerging from financial difficulties.
Black Knight said its weekly survey found 101,000 fewer loans in forbearance,
leaving just over 4 million or 7.5 percent of servicer portfolios in active
plans, the smallest share since late April. Those loans represent $852 billion
in unpaid principal. The company says that one reason behind the reduced
number was the expiration of initial plans. It estimated that about a half
million were set to expire at the end of July. An initial wave of 2.5 million expirations
hit at the end of June. More than two-thirds of the plans that remain in
forbearance have had their plans expanded, most for another 90 days. This will
mean another wave of expirations involving about 2.2 million plans will arrive
in September and October.