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Foreigners Buying Up Florida Real Estate

City of Lakeland

File this one under "Who knew?"

Polk County had the highest percentage of foreign homebuyers in the country for the last half of 2011, according to the Lakeland Ledger.

The story is based on an analysis by the Inman News real estate website

Florida had six metro areas in the top ten for foreign buyers -- Tampa was ninth and Orlando third.

Buyers using a home address in Canada accounted for about two-fifths of the area's foreign buyers during that time, according to the DataQuick data, while buyers using a U.K. home address accounted for about one-fifth. China, including Hong Kong, was a distant third at about 6 percent. "Many of my buyers want to be in an area that is away from the hustle and bustle. Lakeland/Winter Haven are a good fit. It's still somewhat convenient to go to the attractions, yet it has a nice country feel as well," Tutas added.

If foreigners are buying up Florida properties, can price increases be far behind?

Scott Finn is a former news director at WUSF Public Media, which provides in-depth reporting for Tampa Bay and all of Florida.
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