No one knows the Sunshine State better than a Florida Realtor®

by Mike McGraw

Florida is a great place to call home, for people and for business. No one knows and truly understands that better than a Realtor® in Florida. And with more than 238,000 Realtor members, Florida Realtors® is the largest professional trade association in the state.

Whether the move is local, from across the U.S. or from another country, real estate professionals in communities all across the state stand ready to help when it comes to navigating market conditions and finding the right Florida home – for families or for business.

The Sunshine State has long attracted international homebuyers as well as companies seeking new locations with strong growth potential and global access. With our beautiful beaches and waterways, business-friendly environment that includes no state individual income tax, strong jobs outlook and skilled labor force, Florida continues to attract new residents and new business, especially with the continuing interest of untethered workers who can increasingly do their jobs from any location.

From the Panhandle to Key West, Realtors in Florida know their local communities and speak the universal language of real estate. For the 14th year in a row, Florida remained the top destination for foreign buyers in 2022, accounting for 24% of all international purchases, according to research from the National Association of Realtors® (NAR). Rounding out the top five states for global real estate activity: California was second with 11%; followed by Texas at 8%; Arizona, 7%; and New York and North Carolina, tied at 4%.

Our own latest research – Florida Realtors 2022 Profile of International Residential Transactions in Florida – found that foreign buyers of existing homes accounted for $15.3 billion in home sales in the 12-month period from August 2021 through July 2022. That’s a 5% share of the existing home purchases in Florida during the period and accounted for 6% of the dollar volume total; foreign buyers spend more than the typical Florida homebuyer.

Canada took the top spot when it comes to the origin of Florida’s foreign buyers in 2022, accounting for $1.7 billion, followed by Brazil, Colombia, Argentina and the United Kingdom.

As the Voice for Real Estate in Florida, Florida Realtors knows the value of forging international connections and building strong ties with fellow real estate professionals from other countries. Establishing cooperative relationships globally through Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) agreements provides our Realtor members and their international counterparts with mutual opportunities for education, networking and business.

Currently Florida Realtors has 14 MoU partners with real estate entities across the world, including Turkey, Spain, two in Germany, three in France, Canada and several additional organizations within Canada, the Bahamas and more. In 2020, Florida Realtors joined the Confederación Inmobiliaria Latinoamericana (CILA), marking the first state in the U.S. to join the group as a benefactor member. CILA is made up of 19 Latin America countries’ real estate associations, with Brazil and Mexico being the largest. The 19 countries represent 1 million real estate professionals.

In recognition of our ongoing efforts in developing and promoting the state’s international real estate market, NAR last year honored Florida Realtors with a 2022 Diamond Global Achievement Award. Florida is the first state association in the U.S. to receive the Diamond Award. The global awards honor the most active Realtor associations working internationally. Diamond is the highest level; you must have earned platinum for five consecutive years before being eligible for Diamond status.

Florida Realtors is proud and honored to achieve this accomplishment, made possible by our global Realtor family working together. Our goal is to continue to provide resources to our local Realtor association’s global councils, to promote Florida real estate to international buyers and to provide a platform that helps Realtors engage and connect with real estate professionals all over the world.

Want to get more involved in international real estate? Florida Realtors is participating in several international events in the next few months:

· Realtor Quest, Toronto, May 17-18.

· A Place in the Sun, London, consumer real estate trade expo, June 2-4.

· 73rd FIABCI World Real Estate Congress, Miami, June 5-9.

· The Conference of Montreal, June 12-14.

· Inmoci-nate, SIRA, Granada, Spain, June 29-30.

Florida Realtors is your business partner, and we celebrate your success, your opportunity to engage on a global scale and your critical role in your community.

G. Mike McGraw is the 2023 president of Florida Realtors® and a broker-associate with RE/MAX Central Realty of Apopka. Florida Realtors® serves as the voice for real estate in Florida. It provides programs, services, continuing education, research and legislative representation to more than 238,000 members in 51 boards/associations.

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