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Foreign Buyers For U.S. Homes

Tapping foreign buyers to snap up American homes. New legislation looks to open the floodgates.

A tugboat heads west up the Miami River in Miami, lined with high-rise condos, mansions and luxury marinas. Developers are looking inland to expand residential construction, particularly along remaining waterfront in areas that have been historically industrial, kicking up property values astronomically. (AP)

A tugboat heads west up the Miami River in Miami, lined with high-rise condos, mansions and luxury marinas. Developers are looking inland to expand residential construction, particularly along remaining waterfront in areas that have been historically industrial, kicking up property values astronomically. (AP)

Millions of Americans can no longer afford the homes they’re in, let alone to buy new ones. President Obama is looking to help out now with more lenient refinancing for homeowners underwater.

Two US senators have another idea: sell American homes to wealthy foreigners. A new bill would entice affluent Chinese and Canadian buyers to snap up homes in Florida, California, beyond – and throw in a US residence visa for good measure. Is this a good idea? Americans can’t buy American homes, so sell them to rich foreigners?

This hour On Point: American homes, foreign owners.

-Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Nick Timiraos, real estate reporter for the Wall Street Journal.

Sally Daley, Real Estate Agent, Vero Beach, Fla. with Daley and Company Real Estate.

Jacob Hacker, Professor of Political Science at Yale University, where he is Director of the Institution for Social and Policy Studies.

Susan Wachter, Professor of finance and real estate, University of Pennsylvania. She’s the author of “The American Mortgage System: Crisis and Reform.”

From Tom’s Reading List

The Wall Street Journal “The reeling housing market has come to this: To shore it up, two Senators are preparing to introduce a bipartisan bill Thursday that would give residence visas to foreigners who spend at least $500,000 to buy houses in the U.S.”

Mother Jones “A huge share of the nation’s economic growth over the past 30 years has gone to the top one-hundredth of one percent, who now make an average of $27 million per household. The average income for the bottom 90 percent of us? $31,244.”

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