Florida Realtors report: Florida still most attractive to foreign home buyers despite price hike

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graphic home sales Florida
Graph showing international sales in Florida from 2009 through 2017 (Florida Realtors)

Florida remains as the most attractive location to foreign buyers who purchased U.S. residential properties in 2017, with 22 percent of all foreign buyers investing more than $20 billion in the state’s realty market, says the latest Florida Realtors report released Nov. 13.

The 2017 Profile of International Residential Real Estate Activity in Florida finds that international sales posted $24.2 billion. Foreign buyers purchased 61,300 properties in Florida, which made up about 15 percent of the state’s residential market.

The average home price paid by foreign buyers increased from $252,500 in 2016 to $259,400 in 2017, which is in line with the overall price hike in the state. Prices paid by foreign buyers is 18 percent higher than the average home price paid by local buyers.

Foreign buyers made the most purchases in five metropolitan areas: 53 percent of the properties were bought in the Miami-Fort-Lauderdale-West Palm Beach area; 11 percent in Orlando-Kissimmee Sanford; nine percent in Tampa-St.Petersburg-Clearwater; six percent in Cape Coral-Fort Myers; and five percent in North Point-Sarasota-Bradenton.

According to the report’s analysts, the global economic environment created opportunities and challenges for Florida’s foreign buyers in 2016 and 2017. The number of buyers from Latin American countries decreased due to a weaker currency brought on by the decline of oil prices.

Meanwhile, the number of Canadian buyers increased as the country experienced economic growth, stabilizing the Canadian dollar against the U.S. dollar. In addition, home prices in the U.S. are relatively cheaper than Canadian homes. The appreciation of home prices in the country is considered modest in comparison to Canada’s.

The share of buyers from Asian and African countries remain unchanged, while the number of buyers from Europe dropped.

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