International Real Estate Report - 2017

According to the new 2017 Profile of International Home Buyers of MIAMI Association of REALTORS® (MIAMI) Members conducted by MIAMI and the National Association of Realtors (NAR), foreign home buyers spent more on South Florida homes and purchased more local residential properties in 2017 than the year before.

The annual survey, which includes data from Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach and Martin counties, ranks countries of origin and highlights key characteristics of foreign buyers.

Survey Highlights

  • MIAMI’s foreign buyers purchased $7.2 billion of residential property in the counties of Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach, and Martin during August 2016–July 2017, an increase from one year ago ($6.2 billion). Foreign buyers accounted for 29 percent of Florida’s $24.2 billion of international dollar sales volume.
  • In terms of number of units, foreign buyers purchased 15,400 properties, an increase from one year ago (10,900). Foreign buyers accounted for 35 percent of MIAMI’s closed sales and 24 percent of Florida international sales.
  • Foreign buyers who primarily reside abroad accounted for 69 percent of MIAMI foreign buyers compared to 42 percent nationally.
  • Miami-Dade’s share of foreign buyers decreased to 51 percent (66 percent in 2016), while shares increased in other areas: Broward, 32 percent (27 percent in 2016); Palm Beach, nine percent (four percent in 2016); Other Areas, eight percent (three percent in 2016). Respondents did not report any foreign buyer purchases in Martin County.
  • The foreign buyer median purchase price was $339,300, about the same as one year ago ($339,200 in 2016).
  • The share of cash sales declined to 66 percent (72 percent in 2016).
  • The share of purchases for residential rental, vacation, or both uses declined to 70 percent (75 percent in 2016).

Top Countries Investing in South Florida

The countries of origin for consumers purchasing properties in Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach and Martin counties are:

  1. Argentina (15 percent of South Florida foreign purchases)
  2. Venezuela (11 percent)
  3. Canda and Colombia (9 percent each)
  4. Brazil (8 percent)
  5. Mexico, France & Ecuador (4 percent each)

The top tier countries of origin — Venezuela, Argentina, Canada, Brazil, Colombia  — account for 52 percent of total South Florida international closed sales.

The top tier of countries continues with each at 3 percent of international sales:

  • Peru
  • Italy
  • China
  • Chile
  • Dominican Republic
  • United Kingdom

Next tier countries of origin are: Spain, Germany, Australia, Honduras, South Africa, Russia, India, Costa Rica, Japan, Malaysia, Turkey, Panama, Nicaragua, Portugal, and others.

Top Countries by County

The top countries of origin for consumers purchasing properties in Miami-Dade are:

  1. Venezuela (12 percent)
  2. Brazil (9 percent)
  3. Argentina (9 percent
  4. Colombia (5 percent)
  5. France (4 percent)

Other top countries include Ecuador, Italy, the Dominican Republic and Russia.

The top countries of origin for consumers buying real estate in Broward County are:

  1. Canada (12 percent)
  2. Argentina (8 percent)
  3. Brazil (6 percent)
  4. Columbia (6 percent)
  5. Venezuela (6 percent)

The top countries of origin for consumers buying real estate in Palm Beach County are:

  1. Canada (31 percent)
  2. Brazil (15 percent)

Additional Survey Highlights

  • Foreign Buyer Median Price: $339,300 vs. Florida: $259,400
  • 66 Percent of Foreign Buyers Paid Cash
  • 55 Percent Reported the Exchange Rate Changes Had a Significant Effect
  • 44 Percent of Foreign Buyers Purchased Condominiums 
  • 89 Percent Purchased in an Urban/Suburban Area
  • 70 Percent Purchased for Residential Rental/Vacation Use
  • 57 Percent of Respondents Reported Working With an International Client
  • 78 Percent of Referrals/Leads Came from Personal Contacts, Previous Clients, and Business Contacts

This article contains data compiled by the Miami Association of REALTORS® and the National Association of REALTORS® for their annual report titled "2017 Profile of International Home Buyers of Miami Association of REALTORS®"