International demand continues for Florida real estate

International demand continues for Florida real estate

Despite travel restrictions, Florida real estate continues to be the darling of foreign buyers in the US. A recent report for 2021 found that the Sunshine State accounted for 22% of all purchases by non-Americans, the same percentage as 2020. Miami remains the most popular place to buy, but Orlando, Tampa and Jacksonville are hot on its heels.

Foreign transactions down across the US

The 2021 International Transactions in US Residential Real Estate, just published by the National Association of Realtors (NAR), reveals that foreign purchases fell by 31% in the year between April 2020 and March 2021. In total, non-Americans bought 107,000.

Their investment in US residential real estate totalled US$54.4 billion, 2.8% of the market. However, the financial figure is 27% lower than 2020.

Canadians and Mexicans biggest buyers

As is usually the case, Canadian buyers dominated the market for real estate, although last year, they only represented 8%. Mexican and Chines buyers followed suit with 7% and 6% of the share, respectively while Indian and British buyers tied for fourth place with 4%.

In spite of mobility limitations – the US borders closed its borders to foreign travellers for 20 months - buyers from the UK rose during 2021. In 2020, their percentage of the market was 2%, which doubled in 2021. In total, investment by British buyers reached US$2.3 billion.

Florida real estate absolute favourite

As usual, the Sunshine State took the pole position as the prime location. 22% of foreign buyers chose to invest in Florida property in 2021, the same percentage as 2020. California and Texas were some distance behind with 16% and 9% of the market.

Miami took the lion’s share – 52% of foreign buyers chose this metro area to invest in Florida real estate between August 2020 and July this year. Orlando came in second place with 10% of the market. However, analysts noted that foreigners were starting to focus on Orlando, Tampa and Jacksonville as property in Miami rose in price.

34% of foreign buyers in Florida come from Latin America while Europeans account for 23% of the market. Canadians make up the third-largest group with 17%.

Among British and Canadian buyers, Florida ranks as the favourite destination for investment in US residential real estate.

Higher prices

As is the case in many countries, foreigners spend more on US real estate than Americans. The NAR report found that the median price paid by international buyers was US$351,800. In contrast, Americans paid an average of US$305,500 per property. The Chinese and Indians were the biggest spenders within the different nationality groups.

This year, many nationality groups found themselves with higher purchasing power as the US dollar fell in value against other currencies. For example, the Canadian dollar rose by 10% and the pound sterling by 10.9%, a factor that may explain the increase in British buyers of Florida real estate.

Single-family homes preferred

Single-family homes were the most popular option among foreign buyers within the different types of residential real estate. 65% of the total chose to invest in this sort of property. The majority of international investors bought for vacation and/or rental purposes.

(Sources: NAR, Florida Realtors)