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Miami/Fort Lauderdale Market Accounts For Half of All International Home Sales In Florida

Waterfront Mansion

If you’re shopping for a vacation home in the Miami-Fort Lauderdale market right now, you’re not alone.

According to this year’s “Profile of International Home Buyers in Florida,” produced by the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the area is among the most popular in Florida for international buyers. Even when broken out separately, the Miami and Fort Lauderdale areas account for over half of all international purchases in the state.

“This survey puts into perspective the tremendous appeal South Florida has with international home buyers,” explained John Dohm, the 2015 Chairman of the Board of the MIAMI Association of Realtors. “From Brazil to China to Venezuela to Western Europe and beyond, foreign buyers want to own a piece of Miami and Fort Lauderdale real estate. In a short period of time, South Florida has developed into a global region with state-of-the-art infrastructure, a diversified economy and world-class arts and entertainment. International and domestic buyers yearn to own a part of Miami real estate, not only for themselves but for their children.”

The Profile Of The International Buyer

It’s not surprising that international buyers tend to spend significantly more on property than the average Florida resident, since many are looking for vacation homes or high-end rentals, but just how much money this growing sector is spending on real estate is impressive.

The average price of a piece of residential Florida real estate today is about $258,200; this year’s foreign buyers nearly doubled that by spending an average of $538,600 on single transactions. That number is also up significantly from last year’s $300,600 price point.

A full 74 percent of those buyers are paying cash for their purchases, with buyers from Canada most likely to pay cash for their property. These international buyers are also overwhelmingly choosing previously occupied property, with an average of 81 percent of international buyers opting to purchase existing homes.

The International Feel Of Miami & Fort Lauderdale

The global feel of the Miami and Fort Lauderdale areas seems to have contributed significantly to their popularity with international buyers — five out of the seven identified international buying populations chose to settle down in the area. The top international buyers in Fort Lauderdale come from Venezuela (34 percent), Brazil (12 percent), Canada (seven percent) and Columbia (six percent); international buyers for Miami weren’t significantly different, originating in Venezuela (21 percent), Argentina (13 percent), Brazil (12 percent) and Colombia (eight percent).

In 2015, these assorted buyers purchased condos far more often (45 percent of the time) than any other type of real estate, but were also interested in single-family homes (38 percent of purchases) and townhouses (nine percent of purchases). The stated uses for these residential properties were as a vacation home (27 percent), residential rentals (24 percent) and primary or retirement homes (20 percent). When compared to property in their home countries, 63 percent of international buyers said that Florida real estate prices were less expensive.

The Miami-Fort Lauderdale area continues to be a popular destination for international buyers from countries across the globe. This is great news for both the local real estate market and the greater economy! We’re eager to see our new neighbors sunning on the area’s many beautiful beaches, shopping in our wonderful retail outlets and enjoying some great food and drink in our restaurants.

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