Can foreign investment help revive the US housing market? That is the plan by Senators Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Mike Lee (R-Utah). In a bill before congress foreign residents making a housing investment of $500,000 cash or more would be offered a residential visa for the US.
Given the relative weakness of the Dollar and lower housing prices, US residential real estate has continued to be popular with foreigners who have $82 billion invested, up 24% in the year ending March 2011 according to the National Association of Realtors.
Adding the value of a residential visa only sweetens the pot as an investment option to be consider. In a globally uncertain economic environment, the safety of long term US real estate may entice even more off shore money to find its way on to main street.