25% of international investors buy a home in Fla.


25% of international investors buy a home in Fla.

ORLANDO, Fla. – Sept. 8, 2014 – U.S. real estate appeals to foreign buyers, and a large number of them settled on property in Florida – about 25 percent of all international U.S. home purchases to foreign buyers, according to the 2014 report "Profile of International Home Buyers in Florida."

In the 12 months that ended in June 2014, the dollar value of purchases in Florida hit $7.97 billion – a 24 percent increase over the amount spent ($6.43 billion) the year before. About one in 10 property purchases (10 percent) in the state (26,500) involved a foreign buyer, an increase from 9 percent the year before.

Two major trends drove the increase in foreign buyers: A continuing recovery of the world's economy and the affordability of U.S. properties.

U.S. and Florida residential prices remain affordable to most international homebuyers, and they buy property that, overall, costs more than the mean price paid by domestic buyers. In Florida, 76 percent of all Realtors cited less expensive property as a top reason for purchase.

CountriesCanadian buyers accounted for the largest share of international clients (32 percent), followed by:
• Western Europe: 24 percent; primarily from the United Kingdom, France and Germany
• Latin America/Caribbean: 23 percent: primarily from Brazil and Venezuela
• Asia: 10 percent; primarily from China

Florida destinations
Sales to non-resident international clients as percent of international sales:
• Orlando-Kissimmee: 11 percent
• Tampa-St. Petersburg- Clearwater: 11 percent
• Miami-Miami Beach: 10 percent
• Bradenton-Sarasota-Venice: 8 percent
• Fort Lauderdale: 8 percent

Other key findings:
• 52 percent of Florida Realtors reported international clients (national average: 28 percent)
• 19 percent of Florida Realtors with international clients reported 6 or more clients (national average: 12 percent)
• 20 percent with international clients said they accounted for 26 percent or more of their transactions (national average: 15 percent)
• 29 percent reported that their percentage of international clients increased in the last five years (national average: 20 percent)

Market success
Realtors dealing with international clients say the key to success is understanding the culture, concerns and language of potential foreign clients; reaching out through personal contacts and online tools; and assisting potential foreign buyers through the regulatory and financial process, especially for agents on the buy-side of the transaction.

According to the survey, Realtors also said that relaxing current visa restrictions on a length of stay would attract additional international clients.

The complete Profile of International Home Buyers in Florida 2014 Report is available online.

© 2014 Florida Realtors®

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