ORLANDO, Fla. – Nov. 10, 2017 – Since 2005, Florida Realtors has released an annual study on international real estate activity in Florida. Conducted by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) Research Group, it attempts to understand the interaction of members with international clients, the challenges and opportunities they face serving foreign clients, and the characteristics of foreign buyers who purchase Florida property.
The survey considers only residential purchases in the state.
Florida residential property purchases by foreign buyers
Foreign purchases in the state increased to $24.2 billion, a $4.8 billion increase from 2016’s $19.4 billion
Foreign transactions accounted for 21 percent of Florida’s residential dollar volume of sales, a 2 percent increase year-to-year
Foreign buyers purchased 61,300 Florida properties (47,000 in 2016), which made up 15 percent of Florida’s residential market (12 percent in 2016)
The median purchase price paid by foreign buyers increased to $259,400 ($252,500 in 2016), which was in line with the overall increase in Florida prices
The median price paid by foreign buyers was 18 percent higher than the median price paid by all Florida buyers
Nationalities of Florida’s foreign residential buyers
Latin American and Caribbean buyers accounted for the largest portion of Florida foreign buyers (34 percent), though this group made up 39 percent the previous year.
Canadian buyers increased to 22 percent (19 percent in 2016)
Other countries remained consistent year-to-year: The share of European buyers was unchanged at 23 percent; Asian buyers at 10 percent; and African buyers at one percent
Most foreign buyers were concentrated in five metropolitan areas: Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach (53percent); Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford (11percent); Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater (nine percent); Cape Coral-Fort Myers (six percent); and North Point-Sarasota-Bradenton (five percent)
72 percent of foreign buyers made an all-cash purchase
68 percent of foreign buyers purchased residential property for vacation, residential rental or for both uses (72 percent in 2016); 49 percent bought a townhouse or condominium (52 percent in 2016)
35 percent (40 percent in 2016) purchased in a central city/urban area; 15 percent purchased in a resort area (14 percent in 2016)
93 percent of foreign buyers visited Florida at least once before purchasing a property (92 percent in 2016)
Florida clients searching properties abroad
17 percent of Florida’s Realtors said they had a client seeking to purchase property abroad, up from 14 percent in 2016
Top countries of interest from Florida residents looking elsewhere: Colombia, Costa Rica, Spain, Canada and the Dominican Republic
75 percent were interested in residential property (79 percent in 2016)
75 percent intended to use the property for vacation, residential rental or both uses (84 percent in 2016)
Florida’s Realtors interaction with international clients
While international business rose, fewer Realtors in Florida (44 percent) said they worked with an international client in 2017 (48 percent in 2016)
61 percent of Realtors said they did not have cultural and language problems
Personal contacts, previous clients and business contacts accounted for 72 percent of referrals or leads
An agent’s firm, franchise website or social media was the primary source of online leads, followed by other aggregator websites and Realtor.com
Respondents were evenly split about the outlook in the next 12 months: 43 percent expected the same or an increase in international clients, 42 percent expected a decrease, and 15 percent had no opinion.
56 percent expect foreign retirees to be potential clients