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The Importance of Florida Property Sales to Foreigners

According to a new report, Florida’s popularity with foreign buyers continues. Not only do these purchases bring multiple benefits to the Florida community, they also represent an important part of the local economy. Furthermore, experts believe that 60,000 more homes will be bought by foreigners between now and 2016.


The report issued by Florida TaxWatch analyses purchases by foreigners since 2011 and presents some interesting findings. In general terms, sales of property in Florida to non-US residents over the last three years amount to $30 billion and make up between 23 and 31 per cent of all non-US property purchases in the country.


In the state as a whole, 30 per cent of properties bought by foreigners were worth between $100,000 and $199,000, the preferred price bracket. The largest group of foreigners was from Latin America and the Caribbean (32.1 per cent) with Canadians close behind and accounting for nearly 30 per cent of purchases. In third place and led by the Germans and British were Europeans who make up almost 27 per cent of buyers.


In terms of location, the area Miami-Miami Beach ranks as the favourite among foreign buyers with over 26 per cent of sales taking place here over 2012/3. This part of the state is hugely popular with Venezuelans, Argentineans and Brazilians who represent 43 per cent of non-US property transactions.


Orlando-Kissimmee rates as the second preference for foreign buyers and in this part of Florida the dominant purchasers are West Europeans who buy 28 per cent of properties. Buyers from the UK make up the largest nationality group within this.


Next in the state ranking comes Naples-Marco Island. Here, the international buyer clientele is predominantly Canadian (representing a massive 62 per cent of all buyers) with the Germans and British accounting for 11 and 7 per cent respectively. British buyers take the highest market share in Northport-Sarasota-Bradenton where they make up 13 per cent of buyers, followed by Tampa-St Petersburg-Clearwater (10 per cent).


The report finds that since 2008 the US has had consistently lower house prices than in Canada, Germany, France and the UK. The fact that you can get more property for your money in Florida is one of the main reasons behind the high level of foreign investment in the state. The report also shows that the market bottomed out state-wide in the second quarter of 2012, although at county level, this occurred a full year earlier in Miami-Miami Beach and Northport-Sarasota-Bradenton.


Among the many benefits of these continued levels of foreign property investment, the report cites liquidity for the state (many of the purchases are in cash) and a general strengthening of the Florida housing market. Tourism and employment are two further beneficiaries, particularly when the property is let as a holiday home.


Source: Florida Tax Watch

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