For many Americans, the times are tough. Any alleged economic recovery has not been felt by all. Faith in an actual, full recovery is low. Some Americans still struggle to find or even keep jobs. Others continue struggle to pay their rent or mortgage. And many certainly don’t have the disposable income to buy or invest in new properties. Even with prices still hovering near pre-2008 levels, investing in real estate is not a luxury many Americans have these days. And among those who do have the income to invest, there is not a lot of confidence that their investment won’t go up in smoke

In Europe, fears of economic collapse throughout the continent have people under similar stress. Many people are not willing to invest in the European market because of the looming uncertainty. Holding onto money that might otherwise be invested is the status quo because one knows what to expect. As a result, not only are Europeans holding on to their money, they're holding their breath

Influx from Abroad

This fear from Americans about buying or investing domestically, combined with the concerns of investors to do the same in Europe, has resulted in a bit of a surprise: the increase in home buys on American soil by international investors. American wariness in investing in their own country has, from an international point of view, brought about unprecedented affordability in American property. This same perspective also sees stability in America compared to what’s in Europe. One person’s misfortune is another one’s treasure

From March 2011 to March 2012, $82.5 billion in residential real estate was purchased in the United States by international investors, a 24 increase over the year previous. Around 55 percent of the investment came from only five countries: the U.K., India, China, Mexico, and Canada, the latter of which accounting for 25 percent, the largest share. And 55 percent of the investment was in only five states: New York, Arizona, Florida, Texas, and California

Stability and Allure

Roughly fifty percent of the investors are temporary U.S. visa holders or recent U.S. immigrants. The other half are foreign nationals with permanent residence elsewhere who spend only six months or less in the States. For many overseas investors see U.S. real estate as a safe, stable investment; approximately 50 percent of those who were surveyed cited profitability as the main reason for their purchase

Another factor is the demand for the large number of luxury properties throughout the country, particularly in New York. This allure of owning property in the U.S. was noted by nearly 40 percent. Even with this uncertainty, the attraction of the "American Dream" still draws people from all corners of the globe, however fleeting Americans themselves might find it

So, while Americans neither can afford to buy nor are willing to risk buying, the same does not hold true for international investors. To many investors, U.S. residential property lies in wait, ready to be had. And as long as economic uncertainty looms over Europe like the Grim Reaper’s scythe, international investors will continue to turn to the U.S. to stock up on American real estate.