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South Florida Makes Big Gains in Foreign Real Estate Sales

Posted by Waterfront Properties on Thursday, March 15th, 2012 at 9:32am.

South Florida real estate has sparked international intrigue among home buyers in Canada, Brazil, Venezuela and the United Kingdom, according to the National Association of Realtors.

The association’s 2011 Profile of International Home Buyers in Florida survey found foreign purchasers accounted for 25 percent of all sales in the Sunshine State – with Southeast Florida ranking as their No. 1 destination.

Thirty-six percent of those purchasers preferred to live in a city environment, while 32 percent chose resort areas.
“The significant share of resort buyers is not surprising given the nature of the Florida market,” the report states. “In addition, international buyers found Florida’s central cities to be desirable locations in a number of instances.”

Additionally, real estate in Florida prices out significantly lower than real estate in foreign countries, and as a result, almost all sales (86 percent) are done in cash.

Waterfront Properties and Club Communities, northern Palm Beach County’s No. 1 luxury-realty company, has reaped the rewards of the trend that is broadening and diversifying the luxury real-estate market. International investors are eyeing its hundreds of oceanfront and Intracoastal Waterway homes for sale, as well as its golf-course communities and beachside condominiums.

According to the survey, single-family homes accounted for 39 percent of foreign buyers’ purchases, while condos totaled 49 percent. The total amount of stateside sales to foreigners last year came to $12.7 billion. For comparison, the total amount of residential sales in Florida was $48.8 billion.

Canadians buy the most real estate in Florida, at 39 percent. Canada is followed by Brazil at 8 percent, and Venezuela and the United Kingdom at 7 percent. Germans make up 5 percent of the pie.

“Florida is an attractive destination for both domestic and international home buyers,” the survey states. “Based on the experience of Realtors working with foreign buyers, the single-most important factor influencing the purchase of a home is that Florida is viewed by a majority of foreign buyers as a desirable location. Florida real estate is viewed as a profitable investment by 23 percent of foreign buyers, while 12 percent mentioned Florida real estate as a secure investment.”

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