Florida property remains one of the highlights on the international real estate map with the last year seeing marked increases in both total investment and number of sales. Orlando and Tampa are market leaders when it comes to location and the Canadian and British rank as top buyers.
The latest annual report issued by Florida Realtors on the profile of international home buyers in the state finds that foreign investment in Florida property accounted for 8 per cent of all residential sales in the state. Foreigners invested a total of US$7.97 billion in the year to June 2014 up from US$6.43 billion spent during the previous 12 months. In terms of number of properties, foreigners bought 26,500 units between June 2013 and June 2014, an increase of 17 per cent.
Florida leads the US property market and accounts for a quarter of property sold to foreign buyers. Location is the number one reason given by foreigners for buying in the state, followed by affordability – 76 per cent of estate agents stated that their foreign clients found property in Florida cheaper than in their home countries. The weaker performance of the US dollar has further added to investment value over the last year. Investors also cited the security offered by US property as a factor in their decision making.
Suburban Florida ranks as the favoured location for international buyers – nearly 40 per cent of foreigners chose to buy in suburbia, up from 35 per cent. The Sunshine State offers a huge variety of residential areas, but foreigners overwhelmingly opt for Orlando and Tampa as their preferred areas for property investment. Both cities attract 11 per cent of foreign investment and account for 10 per cent of total purchases.
The average price paid by international investors was US$300,600 and the vast majority of foreigners bought their Florida property in cash. Just 15 per cent of international buyers required a mortgage loan making them the preferred market for sellers.
Canadian buyers continue to dominate the market and account for a third of all purchases. Their favourite locations are Tampa and Naples, and nearly half buy condo properties for vacation purposes. In second place in the international ranking are buyers from Western Europe, led by the UK representing 7 per cent of buyers. British investors have a marked preference for Orlando (28 per cent) followed by Bradenton-Sarasota and Tampa, and choose to buy single family homes for holidays.
The annual report clearly highlights the growing importance of international buyers within the Florida property market. Analysts expect this tendency to continue over the next few years in line with the state’s excellent location, affordability and investment value.
Source: Florida Realtors