Immigration bill may see real estate agents dealing with more foreign clients

A Senate bill which is currently in the review process may see lessened regulations regarding the ability of foreign individuals to invest in American residential properties.

A Senate bill which is currently in the review process may see lessened regulations regarding the ability of foreign individuals to invest in American residential properties. If passed, professional real estate agents may see additional increases in buying activity.

The bill, which was crafted by a bipartisan group of eight Senators, looks to support tourism efforts nationwide, and make permanent the EB-5 visa program for immigrant investors, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR).

"[NAR] wants to make sure visa opportunities are expanded, particularly in the H-2B area [for temporary foreign workers]," said Russell Riggs, senior regulatory policy representative for NAR. "If it passes the Senate, it still has to get through the House, and they're working on their own legislation."

According to public property records and the NAR's Profile of International Home Buying Activity, a total of seven percent of all residential properties bought last year were sold to consumers living in other countries. Additionally, it was reported 27 percent of licensed real estate professionals worked with at least one international buyer during 2012.

As national mortgage records continue to show affordable rate averages, an increasing number of consumers - both home and abroad - may look to take advantage and pursue a property purchase in the coming months.



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