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International Buyers

*Additional information Links and PDF reports available at the bottom of this page.

WHY DO INTERNATIONAL BUYERS CHOOSE FLORIDA?

International buyers in the U.S. are increasingly attracted to Florida for real estate investment.  Florida is the top state in the nation for foreign buying activity.  Florida’s market share of international real estate sales has increased 9% over the past year.  Florida now accounts for 31% of U.S. international sales followed by California representing only 12% and Texas at 8%.  The South Florida market consistently attracts the majority of foreign real estate buyers in Florida.

Florida’s location was reported to be the most important factor influencing a client’s decision to purchase Florida property. About 54 percent of respondents reported location as the most important factor, exceeding the nationwide estimate of 39 percent at the national level as reported in NAR’s 2013 Profile of International Home Buying Activity

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International clients also purchase property in Florida because of the value they get for their money.  About 80 percent of respondents reported that their clients found Florida properties as less expensive than their home country.

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Trends/Factors Influencing Purchase

  • Foreign buyers see Florida homes cheaper than at home, and they like the warm sunshine.
  • Florida is considered good choice for retiring and investing.  That fact makes it attractive to foreigners seeking investment with personal benefit.
  • International renters are increasing too.
  • The Florida Keys vacation rental market is thriving industry making many residential properties a sound investment in addition to providing you with your own home in paradise

Florida real estate is considered a good value among many international buyers.  Many countries have higher real estate prices for comparable properties.  This is, however,a difficult comparison, for there are substantial differences between U.S. and foreign expectations and preferences in terms of real estate choices:  for example, a comparison of housing options and choices in Buenos Aires, Henley-on-Thames, Avignon, and New Delhi shows vast differences of lifestyles and preferences.  However, when measured in terms of physical amenities and building layout, U.S. housing options appear to be significantly less expensive than physically comparable foreign properties.  There is a lot of value in U.S. housing . IF one finds the lifestyle, location, culture, and property options attractive.

The U.S. market also offers diversification, with well-defined legal codes.  U.S. property rights are well defined, and the U.S. real estate market has traditionally not been highly correlated with other types of investment options.  A number of investors allegedly find that owning physical assets in the U.S. is a comfortable choice during difficult political or economic times. In addition, typically, U.S. property has appreciated overextended time periods and can, in many cases, be rented as well as used by the owner.

 

WHAT ARE INTERNATIONAL BUYERS BUYING?

35% of foreign buyers in Florida purchased a property to use as a vacation home, and approximately 26% purchased a home to be used as a rental property.  Given the U.S. visa and residence limitations on the length of time that foreign buyers maybe able to occupy their property, 22% of sales were for a dual use—as a vacation home for the buyer’s family and/or friends, and as a rental property at other times. Four percent of properties were reported purchased as a retirement home.

About half of foreign buyers in Florida bought a detached single-family home. Foreign buyers are more likely to purchase condominiums and townhouses/rowhouses since the owners are not staying at their property all year round.About 79 percent of domestic buyers purchased detached single–family homes as reported in NARs Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers 2012

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Foreign buyers were reported as oriented towards resort and suburban areas.  The Florida Keys is the only American Caribbean location in the Continental United States offering ease of access with drivable Island locations, Political and Economic Stability, International and Private airports located throughout the Keys and our close proximity to major metropolitan areas of Miami and Ft. Lauderdale.

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WHO ARE THE MAIN INTERNATIONAL BUYERS IN FLORIDA?

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ARE THERE LANGUAGE AND CULTURAL BARRIERS?

The international market appears to be very specialized on the buyer side. There are significant differences between the U.S. and foreign countries in terms of culture, business practices,and consumer expectations. At American Caribbean Real Estate Middle and Lower Keys we have successfully closed transactions with buyers and sellers from countries including but not limited to:  Canada, UK, Switzerland, China, Japan, Italy, France and Russia.  We strive for excellence in service and work closely with legal aides to help make international transactions close smoothly and on time.

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Additional Report Downloads (PDF)

Top 20 Reasons to Buy in Florida Keys
Florida Keys Market Report 2013
Monroe County Housing Profile
Monroe County Single Family Homes 2013 Summary
Year over Year Comparison 2012-2013 by Island

*The information and graphs on this page are taken from the information provided by the Marathon & Lower Keys Association of REALTORS©, Florida REALTORS© and the National Association of REALTORS©.

For additional information on these and other reports provided by these institutions please utilize the links below:

http://www.realtor.org/sites/default/files/reports/2013/international-business-reports/international-business-report-florida-2013-10.pdf

http://www.realtor.org/sites/default/files/reports/2014/2014-investment-and-vacation-home-buyers-survey-2014-05-08.pdf

http://www.realtor.org/reports/profile-of-international-home-buyers-in-florida

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