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More foreigners buy Florida property

Foreigners continue to buy Florida property in droves. Not only have sales gone up, average spending and total values have too. The latest report on international purchases of Florida property show a buoyant market with sales at their highest since 2011.

Every year the National Association of Realtors (NAR) compiles a special report for Florida Realtors on the Profile of International Real Estate Activity in Florida. The latest edition, covering August 2016 to July 2017, shows that foreigners are as keen to buy Florida property as ever.

Bigger sales and higher prices

In the 12 months to July this year, foreigners bought a total of 61,300 properties in Florida, up from 47,000 in the year. The 30.4% increase takes sales to their highest level since 2011, itself a record year.

The average price paid by foreign buyers in Florida reached US$259,400, up from US$252,500 the previous year. The 2.7% increase in median spending is lower than the rise in Florida property prices over the same period. Total value of foreign purchases reached US$24.2 billion, up from US$19.4 billion.

Foreign share rises

The number of foreigners who buy Florida property represents 21% of the total property purchases in the state. This is up from 19% last year. To put this foreign interest in Florida in perspective, the national average sits at just 10%.

In terms of market share, foreign buyers represented 15% of the market in Florida between August 2016 and July 2017, up from 12% in the previous year. At US level, foreigners account for just 5% of the market share.

The nationalities who buy Florida property

Buyers from Latin America and the Caribbean continued to account for the largest market share in the Sunshine State. In total, they made up 34% of the market, slightly down from 39% in the previous survey. Analysts attribute this small drop to the strength of the American dollar.

Florida property, however, saw a surge in interest from Canadian buyers. They represented 22% of the total, up from 19%. The Canadian dollar has recovered ground against the American over the last year. Property prices in Canada have also risen ahead of those in the US, releasing more equity for Canadians buying real estate in Florida.

The European share of the Florida market remained more or less static at 23%. The expected drop of interest from UK buyers in the light of Brexit failed to materialise and British buyers kept their 6% share.

Favourite places to buy Florida property

The Miami metro area remains the most popular place to buy. 52.6% of international buyers in Florida chose the Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach metro area to purchase a home.

The next most favoured location, is the Orlando metro area, chosen by 10.8% of foreign buyers. Tampa’s popularity has risen from 7.7% to 8.5% of the share. Canadian buyers dominate the Tampa market with 32% of the share.

Favourite types of property

Single family homes are by far the most popular type of property for foreigners purchasing in Florida. 46% of international buyers go for detached homes, a percentage that has increased slightly in the latest survey.

Townhouse properties in Florida attracted 11% of foreign buyers, down from 13%. And apartments accounted for 38% of sales.

(Source: Florida Realtors)

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