Bargain-Hunting Foreigners Snatch Up Foreclosed U.S. Homes

Bargain-hunting Australians are raiding the U.S. housing market where huge family homes are for sale for just $1.50.

Foreign buyers are travelling to U.S. foreclosure hotspots where properties are listed for $1,000, $500 — even as little as $1.

One prominent dealer in Detroit — a town crippled by the collapsing car industry — has sold properties to Australian buyers for just $3,000.

Vacuum cleaner manufacturer Theo Szinger, 67, of Brisbane, cashed in his superannuation and plunged it into Detroit property last year. He has not looked back, snapping up six properties for as little as $5,000.

"You can't even buy a second-hand car for that," Szinger said.

His latest buy, a $16,000 home in such good condition it did not even need a paint job, came with a $10,000 rates bill but he was still thrilled with the deal.

Szinger is among the enterprising Aussies who have swooped on the ailing U.S. home market where homes worth $200,000 18 months ago are going for a few thousand dollars.

"We've had a handful. Typically, they have been paying $3,000 to $5,000," Detroit foreclosure specialist Mike Shannon said.

Shannon said he had more than 100 lower quality homes listed in the Detroit metropolitan area for sale at just $1.

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