ORLANDO, Fla. – International real estate deals made up 8 percent of all existing homes sales in Florida over a one-year period ending in July 2013, according to Florida Realtors®’ recently released “2013 Profile of International Home Buyers in Florida.” By dollar volume, international real estate transactions made up 9 percent of sales over the same period.
The report is based on an annual study done by the National Association of Realtors® (NAR) in cooperation with Florida Realtors. A total of 977 Realtors responded to this year’s survey conducted July 9-Aug. 16, 2013.
For the study, foreign buyers were defined as non-resident foreigners – individuals who purchase property in the U.S. but live here only part of the year. These buyers typically use the property as a rental unit, vacation unit or both.
The international real estate market is important to Florida. Nationwide, 61 percent of all reported foreign sales take place in five states: Florida, California, Arizona, Texas and New York, according to NAR’s larger study on international homebuyer activity in the U.S. Of those five states, Florida has the largest share: 23 percent of national sales to foreign buyers closed in the Sunshine State.
For the 12 months ended July 2013, existing home sales in Florida – single-family homes, townhomes and condos – accounted for 327,350 transactions worth $74 billion dollars. Of that total, there were 22,572 transactions worth $6.4 billion dollars to foreigners.
Prices paid by non-resident foreign buyers tend to be higher than domestic buyers, though overall, international sales have been down due to the worldwide recessions, according to NAR.
- Two in three (63 percent) of Realtors in Florida have international clients, compared to the national average of 27 percent.
- Of the Realtors who have international clients, 33 percent (one in five state Realtors) said that international transactions made up 26 percent or more of their business compared to 12 percent of Realtors nationally.
- 80 percent of surveyed Realtors said that international clients found Florida property less expensive than similar property in their home country. Overall, foreign buyers say the U.S. residential housing market provides a good value.
- 31 percent of respondents say Florida’s percentage of international clients has increased in the last five years, compared to 21 percent at the national level.
- Canadians lead the way (30 percent of total Florida international sales) as the largest source of buyers, followed by Venezuela (8 percent), Brazil (7 percent), and the U.K. (6 percent).
- International buyers focused most of their effort in Miami-Miami Beach (21 percent of international sales in Florida), Orlando-Kissimmee (14 percent) and Fort Lauderdale (9 percent).
- International buyers paid a median price of $216,477 for a home unit in Florida compared to the state’s overall median price of $144,074, and the U.S. median price of $187,483. In general, buyers from Brazil, Venezuela and Western Europe purchased above the median price.
- 84 percent of international transactions are cash sales.
- International buyers had a preference for detached single-family homes (47 percent of Florida foreign sales), followed by townhouses (11 percent) and condominiums (34 percent).
The complete 2013 Profile of International Home Buyers in Florida can be downloaded on the Research page of Florida Realtors’ member website at https://www.floridarealtors.org/Research/index.cfm. Once on the Research page, look under Research Reports on the far right, then under International, and click on the pull-down bar to find the 2013 report.