Foreign real estate investors brought upwards of $12 billion to the Florida economy in the last year, totaling 22,500 existing homes purchased at a medium cost of $347,300, a recent real estate study shows.
Conducted by Florida Realtors, the study indicates a 30 percent rise in statewide housing and condo markets among foreign investors despite the nationwide economic contraction from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Within Florida, low mortgage rates and sustained job growth have boosted home sales and home prices. Demand has outpaced supply, leading to stronger price appreciation and buyer competition among international buyers.
The Miami metropolitan area, including West Palm Beach and Ft. Lauderdale, accounted for over 50 percent of properties purchased, followed by the Orlando region (10%), Tampa (8%), Cape Coral-Ft. Myers (5%), and Sarasota (4%).
Forty-three percent of Florida’s foreign buyers purchased in a central city or urban area, an increase from 34 percent in the prior 12-month period. The increase can be explained by the higher share of buyers from Latin America, who tend to purchase properties in the Miami metro area. Nationally, 28 percent of all U.S. foreign buyers purchased property in a central city/urban area.
Latin American and Caribbean individuals comprised the largest point of origin for Florida’s international buyers at 46 percent, trailed by Canadians (18%), Europeans (15%), Asia and Oceania (7%), and Africans (1%). The top countries were Canada (18%), Colombia (9%), Argentina (7%), Brazil (6%), and Venezuela (5%).
Foreign investment stemming from the United Kingdom has plummeted over the past 13 years, with the share of foreign purchases in Florida falling from 21 percent, over a fifth of all bought homes in 2008, to just 3 percent in 2021.
Florida holds the largest portion of foreign real estate clients in the country at 22 percent, followed by California and New York.
Nearly three-quarters of buyers evaluated in the study claimed that their newly purchased residence would be used solely for vacationing purposes, with almost 70 percent of this group buying in cash.
Florida’s jolt of real estate investment comes on the back of strong tourism numbers following the height of the COVID-19, as Governor Ron DeSantis recently announced that Florida’s visitation from July to September exceeded that of that same period in 2019, welcoming 32.5 million travelers.