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MIAMI (CBS4) – South Florida’s sagging housing market has drawn a lot of attention from overseas buyers hoping to cash in on distressed real estate prices.

Major companies with ties to Hong Kong, Spain, Argentina and Malaysia have been snapping up properties sensing the local market has bottomed.

Stephan Gietl of Austria and his partner Fernando Levy-Hara, of Argentina, have purchased 307 South Florida condo units for $40 million, since 2009. The duo has sold most of the units, mainly to international investors.

Agave Holdings, with ties to the owner of Jose Cuervo tequila, paid First Bank Puerto Rico $30.55 million for a project in Coral Gables.

Espacio USA is about to close on its second office building. The company paid $31.52 million for another office building last year.

Financial experts say international companies can park their investment and position themselves for the next development cycle.

(TM and © Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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