Worsening global economic outlook in 2019, political unrest slows foreign buyers’ activity
According to the Profile of International Home Buyers of the Miami Association of Realtors (MIAMI) conducted by MIAMI and the National Association of Realtors, a strong U.S. dollar and a worsening global economic outlook outside the U.S. slowed South Florida’s international home sales in 2019, but domestic buyers stepped into Miami’s total residential sales and prices rose year-over-year. Despite the decline, foreign buying activity remained strong, especially when compared to the rest of the country and Florida.
Foreign homebuyers bought $6.9 billion of residential properties in South Florida in 2019, down 21 percent from $8.7 billion in 2018. Because the Miami Mega Region is America’s No. 1 destination for global consumers and home to diversified foreign homebuyers, the global market in Miami has not declined as much as the state and nation. The volume of international homebuyers fell by 30 percent ($22.9 billion to $16 billion) across the state. The volume of global homebuyers’ dollars fell 36 percent (from $121 billion to $77.9 billion) nationwide. Read our detailed real estate market review for the US here.
The profile surveyed international residential transactions of MIAMI members from August 2018 through July 2019. Efforts by the association to deal with the situation of COVID-19 and stay-at-home orders delayed the release of the study.
Domestic homebuyers, especially from tax-laden Northern states, moved in last year to separate the Miami market from any downturn in home buying by foreign buyers, according to Jorge L. Guerra Jr., MIAMI Chairman of the Board. He stated that the market share of foreign homebuyers in South Florida remains more than double the state figure and eight times larger than the US, proving once again that Miami is the world’s number one destination for foreign homebuyers.”
South Florida registers more than half of all International Home Sales in Florida
Florida is the top U.S. foreign buyer destination (20 percent of all sales), according to NAR’s 2019 Profile of International transactions in U.S. Residential Real Estate. For the last 11 years, Florida has been the State No. 1 for foreign home buyers.
According to the Florida Realtors 2019 Profile of International Residential Real Estate Activity in Florida, more than half of all international home sales in Florida (53 percent) occur in Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach. With 11%, Orlando finished No. 2 and Tampa is No. 3 with 7%. One in five of all U.S. international home sales occur in Florida.
According to a Florida Realtors study, South Florida is the top destination for Argentinian, Brazilian, Canadian, Colombian and Venezuelan purchases in Florida.
South Florida secures around 10 percent of all U.S. international home sales
South Florida’s market share of foreign homebuyers is eight times larger than that of the U.S. overall figure.
According to the MIAMI and NAR report, South Florida foreign buyers accounted for 38 percent of the total dollar volume and 26 percent of all residential properties sold in 2019. No other U.S. market holds those numbers.
The foreign homebuyer market share of South Florida remains more than double the state figure at 26 percent and eight times larger than the nation. Nationally, the global market share of all closed sales for homebuyers is 12%. The global market share of homebuyers is 3 percent at the national level.
Miami-Dade County accounted for the largest share of foreign buyers from South Florida (77 percent in 2019; 65 percent in 2018). Broward County’s foreign buyers declined (19.2 percent in 2019; 31.2 percent in 2018). County Palm Beach had 1.8%, down from 3.9% in 2018.
In 2019 the global buyer market share of each county is Miami-Dade County (33%), Broward County (16%), and Palm Beach County (12%).
Venezuela and Argentina: Top Foreign Buying Real Estate Countries in South Florida
Venezuela and Argentina are the best three foreign countries that purchase real estate in South Florida. South Florida’s 12 top countries of origin for consumers who purchase properties are:
- Venezuela and Argentina (11 percent of foreign purchases from South Florida each)
- Colombia (10 percent):
- Brazil (eight percent)
- Mexico and Canada (6 percent each)
- Spain, Peru, and France (4 percent respectively)
- Chile, Ecuador, and the Dominican Republic (3 percent each)
These top-level countries of origin — Venezuela, Argentina, Colombia, Brazil, Canada, Mexico, Spain, Peru, France, Chile, Dominican Republic, Ecuador — represent 73 percent of total closed international sales in South Florida.
There are 22 top-tier global home buying countries in South Florida, an increase from 21 last year (as Australia joined the list in 2019).
The foreign buyers of South Florida come from over 50 countries: the Bahamas, Panama, Bolivia, Guatemala, Uruguay, Haiti, El Salvador, Jamaica, Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago, Japan, South Korea, Portugal, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine, Greece, Austria, Nigeria, Turkey, South Africa, Israel, and Egypt.
Venezuela is Miami-Dade County’s No. 1 Purchasing Country
Miami-Dade’s top countries of origin for consumers who buy properties are:
- Venezuela: (17%)
- Argentina (15%):
- Brazil (at 11%)
- Colombia (10%):
- Mexico City (5%)
- Canada and Ecuador (4 % each)
- France, Peru, the Dominican Republic, Spain (3 % each)
Other countries that bought the property in Miami-Dade included Bolivia, Chile, Cuba, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Russia, China, El Salvador, Italy, Portugal, Australia, the Bahamas, Germany, Honduras, Israel, Nigeria, Panama, South Africa, Sweden, Trinidad, and Tobago and Uruguay.
Canada is Buying Nation No. 1 in Broward County
The top countries of origin in Broward County where consumers buy real estate are:
- Canada (22%)
- Argentina (16%):
- Colombia (11%):
- Venezuela and Mexico (4%)
- Cuba and the Dominican Republic (each 3%)
Other countries that purchased properties in Broward included the Bahamas, China, France, Jamaica, Russia, Australia, Ecuador, Honduras, India, Peru, Trinidad and Tobago, and Turkey.
Canada is the No. 1 Buying Country in Palm Beach County
The top countries of origin in Palm Beach County where consumers buy real estate are:
- Canada (28% of the population)
- Colombia (6%)
- Brazil and France (5%)
- Argentina, Ecuador, Venezuela, and Spain (4% each)
Foreign home buyers in South Florida vs. nation: 33.9 percent more spent on average
Foreign home buyers pay significantly more on real estate than other buyers, and real estate buyers in South Florida pay a higher median price than other foreign buyers in the state of Florida or nationwide.
MIAMI international home buyers spent a median residential property price of $375,600 in 2019. In comparison, foreign buyers belonging to Florida Realtors members had a median price of $288,600 while foreign buyers spend $280,600 in the US.
South Florida International buyers paid 63 percent in cash
Approximately 63 percent of all international residential transactions in South Florida were made in all-cash, according to the new MIAMI and NAR survey. In comparison, cash was paid by about 41 percent of U.S. buyers.
International homebuyers in South Florida prefer condominiums (55 percent) in the central/urban areas (67 percent) which they intend to use mainly as residential rentals, holiday homes, or both (73 percent).