Florida remained a hot market for international real estate buyers, with foreign home purchases growing by $4.8 billion to total $24.2 billion, according to a new report from the Florida Realtors and the National Association of Realtors.
In fact, the Sunshine State accounted for 22 percent of all foreign home purchases nationwide for the 12 months ended July 2017. The median purchase price foreign buyers paid for a Florida home was $259,400, which was 18 percent above the state average for all buyers.
The study was conducted through a survey of 6,551 realtors in August and September, covering deals for the 12 months ended July 2017.
Once again, buyers from Latin America and the Caribbean were the number one market with 34 percent of foreign home sales in Florida, although that was down from 39 percent the previous year as several countries dealt with economic and political challenges. The U.S. dollar also gained in value against many Latin American currencies.
Canadian buyers picked up the slack, increasing to 22 percent of foreign purchases in Florida, from 19 percent in 2016 and 11 percent in 2015. The report noted that home values in Canada have been increasing faster than in the United States, making Florida homes look like a relatively good deal in a much warmer climate.
Buyers from Europe remained at 23 percent, followed by buyers from Asia at 10 percent. That includes buyers from China, which declined to 3 percent, from 4 percent, despite persistent marketing efforts by many Florida brokers.
Canada was the top single county for home purchases in Florida. Brazil was second at 7 percent, although that has been steadily declining. The United Kingdom and Venezuela were both at 6 percent, although U.K. buyers were more active while Venezuelan buyers were down from 8 percent in 2016 and 18 percent in 2015 as their country suffers from economic and political turmoil. Argentina and Colombia tied for fifth at 5 percent, and both decreased.
South Florida continued to draw the most interest from foreign buyers, accounting for 53 percent of their home purchases in the state. The Orlando area came in a distance second at 11 percent.
Latin America was the top market for foreign buyers in South Florida, accounting for 46 percent of deals. However, the top country was Canada at 19 percent. The next three were Brazil at 9 percent, Argentina at 8 percent, and Venezuela at 8 percent.
Other facts about foreign home buyers in Florida:
- 72 percent bought all cash.
- 68 percent bought the home for vacation or rental.
- 49 percent bought a condo or townhouse.
- 93 percent visited Florida at least once before the purchase.
- 17 percent of brokers surveyed said they expect an increase in international clients over the next 12 months,
compared to 42 percent who expect a decrease.