Because I cannot be sued by a tenant nor harassed by his homies. Because the fees are low and transparent. Because the equity is very liquid and because there is reliable income. Because I can borrow against it if I wanted to (it's called a margin loan). It is boring and I am sure all the smarty pants will tell me how stupid I am, it is the Vanguard REIT.
If you like the housing market you're currently investing in, tell us why you like it.
I wouldn't invest in any market that I hadn't lived in several years. Had property in upstate NY and Oregon but sold because of lack of good property management and strong tenant bias in housing laws. I only own in south Tx now. Landlord friendly laws (or at least reasonably fair), very good ratio of price to rent, low housing prices, property management is very common and there are many really good property managers. Maintenance and lawn service is really cheap Downside is that property taxes are higher than some places, but I don't find them out of line with OR, WA, or NY. Right now there seems to be some glut of rentals in the middle market, but I'm in the upper end and don't have any trouble renting.
Unfortunately (or fortunately depending on your perspective) the only screaming buy for houses right now seems to be in the USA. You can't get similar quality for these prices anywhere else.
Sure you can, but you have to be on the ground speaking the language, not cruising the web. Wait till Spain, Italy, and Greece all pull out of the Euro. Then there will be serious bargains until (if?) they establish a solid reputation for their own currency.
http://www.holprop.com/ is one of the better international property web sites. You can cruise what's listed in English, but the usual rich gringo markup is tacked onto the prices.