Florida sees increase in international buyers

While U.S. buyers continue to struggle, foreign buyers generally see U.S. real estate as a desirable, profitable and secure investment. In addition, a weak U.S. dollar has made Florida real estate even more attractive recently.

The National Association of Realtors®, in cooperation with Florida Realtors, conducted a survey of Florida members, asking them about their experience working with international clients. The survey was conducted in July-August 2010. A total of 936 responses were received.

Report highlights

• 65 percent of survey participants – members of Florida Realtors – worked with an international client in the past 12 months. One in five worked with two international clients, and 18 percent working with three or more.

• Half of the respondents said that international clients accounted for 25 percent or less of their business; 15 percent reported that international homebuyers accounted for more than half of their business.

• One in three said that international clients were an increasing share of their customers in the past two years, while just under half (48 percent) noted that their share of international clients stayed about the same.

• Canada had the largest share of buyers, accounting for 36 percent of recent sales. Buyers from the United Kingdom accounted for 15 percent, and the rest of Western Europe accounted for an additional 14 percent. Latin America, defined for the purposes of the report to include Mexico, the Caribbean, Central America and South America, accounted for 16 percent. Other countries with a small but significant share of sales included Germany (5 percent), Venezuela (3 percent), Brazil (3 percent) and France (3 percent).

• 11 percent of foreign buyers bought a new home, while the remaining 89 percent purchased a previously owned home.

• 51 percent purchased a detached single-family home; 37 percent purchased a condo, 11 percent purchased a townhouse and 1 percent purchased some other type of home.

• 38 percent purchased in a suburban area; 30 percent purchased property in a resort area; 25 percent purchased in a central city; and 7 percent purchased in a small town or rural area.

• 15 percent of buyers plan to use their property less than one month per year; 21 percent expect to use it one to two months; and 34 percent three to six months.

• 19 percent bought a home in the Orlando-Kissimmee area; 17 percent chose Miami-Ft. Lauderdale; 13 percent opted for Bradenton-Sarasota; and Tampa, Cape Coral-Fort Myers and Naples rounded out the top six with at least 5 percent of purchases.

To read the complete report, which includes information on why buyers choose Florida as well as why they don’t, visit floridarealtors.org at: https://www.floridarealtors.org/Research/index.cfm

© 2010 Florida Realtors®

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