(FOXNEWS) — As the U.S. housing market slowly starts to recover, foreign investment is helping it along.

According to the National Association of Realtors, non-American buyers accounted for $82 billion in home sales last year. More than $7 billion of that is by the Chinese, who are now the second largest foreign home purchasers after Canadians. They’re buying high-end, multimillion-dollar homes from California to New York and paying cash.

“They’re probably the top 1 percent of the Mandarin speakers that are coming from China,” said Brent Chang, a Coldwell Banker realtor in Southern California. “They’re really the people who have their own businesses or maybe were part of the government.”

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