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Overseas Property Investors Go Cold on Florida

Overseas property investors have gone cold on Florida according to the latest sales data released by Florida Realtors.

Between August 2017 and July 2018, the most recent period for sales data by Florida Realtors, overseas property investors purchased $22.9 billion worth of Florida real estate, a 5 per cent decline from the previous 12-month figures.

Sales to overseas property investors accounted for 19 per cent of Florida’s total existing home sales compared with 21 per cent the previous year.

Foreign buyers, the majority coming from Canada and Brazil, purchased around 52,000 properties, a 15 per cent drop from the previous 12-month cycle.

On a national level, foreign investors buy around 5 per cent of existing American housing stock on the market, according to the National Association of Realtors, hence foreign buyers are extremely important to Florida.

Latin American and Caribbean buyers accounted for the largest fraction of Florida’s foreign buyers at 36 per cent, followed by Canadians at 22 per cent, Europeans at 19 per cent and Asians at 11 per cent.

The number of European property buyers in Florida has gone relatively cold since 2016, mainly blamed on uncertainty about income and employment due to Brexit causing British overseas investors to go cold on the idea of a Florida sunshine home.

Foreign investors tend to spend on average 20 per cent more than locals, an average of $286,500 with Brazilians and Chinese investors being the biggest spenders. They dish out at least $300,000 for a property.

But despite Florida being known as a luxury residences market for second homes, most of the foreign buyers, in south Florida anyway, have gone cold on buying anything near million-dollar properties.

Around 71 per cent of foreign investments into South Florida real estate was into properties valued at less than half a million dollars.

South Florida real estate has also been hit with the lack of new land deals and rising prices for new development projects. Many developers have been moving further north into central Florida instead, with overseas property investors just starting to discover it thanks to continuous Disney World expansion.

However, the Miami area remains favourite with around 54 per cent of foreign buyers heading there.

Who would have thought the Sunshine State would go cold?

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