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The Brazilians Are Back! Driving Miami's Foreign Buyer Spike in 2018

The Brazilians Are Back! Driving Miami's Foreign Buyer Spike in 2018


Foreign Buyers Spent $8.7 Billion on South Florida Residential Properties in 2018, Up $1.6 Billion Annually

According to the newly released 2018 Profile of International Home Buyers Report by the Miami Association of Realtors and the National Association of Realtors, foreign buyer activity in South Florida had a significant 23 percent spike in 2018.

Global homebuyers increased their spending on South Florida homes, Brazil became the No. 1 foreign country purchasing Miami real estate and Miami remains the No. 1 U.S. destination for global consumers.

Foreign buyers purchased $1 billion more, now $8.7 billion of South Florida residential properties in 2018, up from $7.1 billion in 2017, according to the MIAMI and NAR report. MIAMI international buyers purchased 14,300 properties, only 1,000 less from 2017 (15,300). Florida is the No. 1 state for foreign buyers and our South Florida foreign buyers accounted for a staggering 54 percent of all Florida international home sales, according to the Florida Realtors 2018 Profile of International Residential Real Estate Activity in Florida. Orlando finished No. 2 with 9.4 percent, and Tampa is No. 3 with 9 percent. About 9.5 percent of all U.S. international home sales happen in South Florida. Miami is the top destination for foreign buyers.

"Diverse, multilingual and located in a subtropical climate, it is easy to see why Miami remains the top U.S. destination for international home buyers," MIAMI Chairman of the Board José María "Chepe" Serrano said. "South Florida welcomes all cultures, is growing its economy, adding cultural institutions and attracting more corporate companies."

South Florida Registers More than Half of all Florida International Home Sales

Florida is the top U.S. destination for foreign buyers (19 percent of all sales), according to NAR's 2018 Profile of International Transactions in U.S. Residential Real Estate. More than half of all international home sales in Florida (54 percent) happen in Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach, according to the Florida Realtors 2018 Profile of International Residential Real Estate Activity in Florida.

South Florida secures about 9.5 percent of all U.S. international home sales.

Miami-Dade County Has the Largest Share of South Florida Foreign Buyers

Miami-Dade County accounted for the largest share of South Florida's foreign buyers (65 percent in 2018; 64 percent in 2017). Broward County saw an increase in foreign buyers (31 percent in 2018; 25 percent in 2017). Palm Beach County had 4 percent, the same as in 2017. Martin County had less than 1 percent, and other counties recorded less than one percent.

About 51 percent of all South Florida international home sales take place in Miami-Dade County, according to the new MIAMI and NAR report. Foreign buyer sales increased for the following South Florida counties: Broward (32 percent in 2017, up from 27 percent in 2016) and Palm Beach (9 percent in 2017, up from 4 percent in 2016).

Brazil: The No. 1 Foreign Country Buying South Florida Real Estate

Brazil finished as the No. 1 foreign country purchasing South Florida real estate for the first time since MIAMI and NAR began conducting the study seven years ago.

The 12 top countries of origin for consumers purchasing properties in South Florida are:

  • Brazil (12 percent of South Florida foreign purchases)
  • Colombia and Venezuela (11 percent each)
  • Argentina and Canada (8 percent each)
  • Mexico, France and Italy (4 percent each)
  • United Kingdom, China, Peru and Ecuador (3 percent each)
 
These top tier countries of origin -- Brazil, Colombia, Venezuela, Argentina, Canada, Mexico, France, Italy, United Kingdom, China, Peru and Ecuador-- account for 74 percent of total South Florida international closed sales. The South Florida market top tier of countries continues:

  • Russia
  • Dominican Republic
  • Chile
  • Germany
  • Spain
  • India
  • Costa Rica
  • Portugal
  • Nicaragua

South Florida's foreign buyers hail from more than 50 countries: Australia, Albania, Angola, Antigua, Austria, Argentina, Bahamas, Barbados, Brazil, Bolivia, Canada, China, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, France, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Haiti, India, Italy, Japan, Israel, Jamaica, Liberia, Mexico, Netherlands, Nicaragua, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Russia, Spain, Surinam, Sweden, Switzerland, Trinidad, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, Uruguay, Venezuela, and Middle East countries.

Brazil is the No. 1 Country Buying in Miami-Dade County

The top countries of origin for consumers purchasing properties in Miami-Dade are:

  • Brazil (17 percent)
  • Venezuela (13 percent)
  • Argentina (10 percent)
  • Colombia (9 percent)
  • Unknown (7 percent)
  • Canada and Dominican Republic (4 percent each)
  • Italy and China (3 percent each)
 
Other countries that purchased properties in Miami-Dade included Chile, France, Mexico, Peru, Russia, Spain, Cuba, Ecuador, India, Panama, United Kingdom, Egypt, Estonia, Nicaragua, Israel, Romania, Switzerland, Trinidad and Tobago.

Colombia is the No. 1 Country Buying in Broward County

The top countries of origin for consumers buying real estate in Broward County are:

  • Colombia (18 percent)
  • Venezuela (13 percent)
  • Brazil (11 percent)
  • Canada (10 percent)
  • Argentina, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Peru and Unknown (5 percent each)
 
Other countries that purchased properties in Broward included Barbados, Bolivia, China, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Germany, India, Israel, Jamaica, Japan, Portugal and Russia.

Canada is the No. 1 Country Buying in Palm Beach County

The top countries of origin for consumers buying real estate in Palm Beach County are:

  • Canada (57 percent)
  • Brazil (10 percent)
  • Argentina (5 percent)
 
Other countries that purchased properties in Palm Beach included Chile, China, France, Portugal and the United Kingdom.

Foreign Home Buyers Spend 27.6 Percent More on Average in South Florida vs. Nation

Foreign home buyers spend significantly more on real estate than other buyers, and South Florida real estate buyers spend a higher median price than other international buyers in the state of Florida or nationally.

MIAMI international homebuyers spent a median price of $373,000 for residential properties in 2018. In comparison, foreign buyers of Florida Realtors members had a median price of $286,500 while foreign buyers in the United States spend $292,400.

Non-resident foreign buyers (Type A), who are non-U.S. citizens with permanent residences outside the United States, accounted for 63 percent of MIAMI's foreign buyers compared to 39 percent nationally.

58 Percent of South Florida International Buyers Paid in Cash

According to the new MIAMI and NAR survey, about 58 percent of all international residential transactions in South Florida were made in all-cash. In comparison, about 47 percent of U.S. buyers paid cash.

South Florida international homebuyers prefer condominiums (53 percent) in the central/urban areas (51 percent), which they intend to use mainly as residential rental, vacation home or both (66 percent).

5 Percent of South Florida Foreign Buyers Purchased Homes Without Even Visiting

About 5 percent of South Florida foreign buyers purchased local homes without even visiting Florida in 2018. About 12 percent purchased with just one visit to Florida; 27 percent purchased with two visits; 22 percent bought after visiting Florida three times.

About 72 percent of MIAMI members worked with an international consumer in the past 12 months. That's more than three times the national figure of 23 percent.

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