Targeting International Buyers in South Florida
By Teresa King Kinney, CEO, Realtor Association of Greater Miami and The Beaches
International buyers are a driving force in the South Florida real estate market and economy. While real estate agents benefit from working in an area that is highly attractive to international buyers and investors, they also face a challenging business environment. To achieve business success, agents in our market require specialized skills developed through high levels of education and increased referral opportunities.
International Buyers Account for Significant Percentage of All Home Sales
According to a recent study by the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR), 15 percent of all Florida buyers are international. There are thousands of foreign U.S. residents in addition to this already impressive figure who also purchase Florida real estate.
Of the international buyers, 75 percent, including Europeans and Latin Americans, are purchasing properties as vacation homes and investments. Only 17 percent purchased a home to live in while traveling to the United States on business.
Nearly one-third of all international homebuyers chose to purchase their properties in Miami or Ft. Lauderdale. While this includes buyers from all over the world, South Florida is, by far, the destination of choice in the state for most Latin American homebuyers.
Thirty percent of our international buyers are from Europe, the highest percentage ever for our market. Forty-four percent of the international buyers are from South America and 17 percent are from Central America and the Caribbean.
The median price paid by foreign home-buyers was $100,000 higher than the median sales price for all existing single-family homebuyers in Florida. Latin Americans paid even more, with 20 percent of them paying more than $500,000. Also, more than one-third of international buyers paid cash for their homes, compared to only 10 percent of all Florida homebuyers.
Who is investing in South Florida real estate?
The Miami-Ft. Lauderdale market ranked as the top area drawing foreign investment. Although international buyers in Florida come from 100 different countries, survey results indicate the top four countries in which foreign homebuyers live are the United Kingdom, Germany, Venezuela and Canada. Most foreign buyers — 58 percent — are from Europe, and more than half of European buyers are from the United Kingdom. One-third of international buyers were from South America, Central America and the Caribbean.
Increase your international marketing potential
The Real Estate Congress provides educational and marketing opportunities for successful real estate professionals. This premier event features dynamic speakers, a major expo and grand gala receptions. With more than 500 attendees, the Congress brings together professionals from around the United States and the world. David Lereah, NAR chief economist, will be a keynote speaker at this year’s Congress, which is slated for June 13 – 15 at The Biltmore. For more information visit www.miamire.com.
The 12,500-member Realtor Association of Greater Miami and the Beaches (RAMB) includes the Residential Association, Realtors Commercial Alliance and the largest local International Real Estate Council in the nation. RAMB has been serving the industry, public and community for 85 years.