When it comes to “buy American,” foreigners are getting series, particularly when it comes to real estate. It could provide opportunity for agents working in markets that are attractive to overseas buyers.

According to a CNN Money report citing a National Association of Realtors survey, foreign buyers and recent immigrants spent an estimated $153 billion on American properties in the year ending March 2017.

 

That figure represented a 49 percent increase over the previous year and the highest level since record-keeping began in 2009.

According to the NAR report, changes in the Canadian real estate market may be driving some of the attention to the United States.

America’s neighbors to the north were one big factor behind the surge.

According to the report, Canadian real estate investors nearly doubled their purchases of American homes during the survey period, driven by affordable prices compared to pricey markets north of the border, such as Toronto and Vancouver, where experienced rapid price gains have been the norm.

According to Lawrence Yun, chief economist at the National Association of Realtors, foreign buyers had to brush off U.S. political turmoil in order to make their purchases.

“The political and economic uncertainty both here and abroad did not deter foreigners from exponentially ramping up their purchases of U.S. property over the past year. While the strengthening of the U.S. dollar in relation to other currencies and steadfast home-price growth made buying a home more expensive in many areas, foreigners increasingly acted on their beliefs that the U.S. is a safe and secure place to live, work and invest.”

According to NAR, foreign buyers on average paid just over $302,000 per property, up 9 percent from the previous year.