International Buyer Profile
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What International Buyers are Looking for in the Florida Market

A detailed look at where international clients originate and what they're buying in the Sunshine State. Plus: A profile of the Florida international buyer.

Realtors in Florida work with non-U.S. residents to buy and sell property in Florida, either for short-term/investment purposes or to live here.

The annual Profile of International Residential Real Estate Activity survey conducted by the National Association of Realtors gathers information about how Florida's Realtors interact with international clients, their challenges and opportunities in serving foreign clients, and facts about foreign buyers.

The survey also covered domestic buyers and sellers involved with properties outside the U.S.

Download the most recent report, the 2018 Profile of International Residential Real Estate Activity in Florida (PDF, 2.4 MB, 30 pages)

Here are highlights from the 2017 report:

Residential properties purchased by foreign buyers

  • Foreign buyer purchases of Florida residential properties increased to $24.2 billion, or 21 percent of Florida’s residential dollar volume of sales.
  • Foreign buyers purchased 61,300 residential properties (47,000 in 2016), which made up 15 percent of Florida’s residential market (12 percent in 2016). Nationally, foreign buyer residential purchases accounted for five percent of existing-home sales.
  • The median purchase price among foreign buyers increased to $259,400, in line with the overall increase in the median price of Florida’s existing home sales of $220,100. The median price among foreign buyers was 18 percent higher than the median price of Florida’s existing home sales.
  • Latin American and Caribbean buyers accounted for the largest portion of Florida foreign buyers at 34 percent, the share of buyers from Canada increased to 22 percent. The share of buyers from Europe was 23 percent, the share of buyers from Asia was 10 percent, and the share of buyers from Africa was 1 percent.
  • Most foreign buyers (72 percent) made an all-cash purchase (72 percent in 2016). 68 percent f purchased residential property for vacation, residential rental, or for both uses.
  • 49 percent bought a townhouse or condominium
  • While foreign buyers purchased property across the state, most foreign buyers were concentrated in five metropolitan areas:
    -Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach MSA (53 percent)
    -Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford MSA (11 percent)
    -Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater MSA (9 percent)
    -Cape Coral-Fort Myers (6x percent)
    -North Point-Sarasota-Bradenton (5 percent).

Florida domestic clients searching for properties abroad

  • 17 percent of members reported that they had a client seeking to purchase property abroad
  • Colombia, Costa Rica, Spain, Canada, and the Dominican Republic were the top countries of interest.
  • 75 percent of clients were interested in residential property (79 percent in 2016).
  • 75 percent of clients intended to use the property for vacation, residential rental, or both.

Interaction with international clients

  • 44 percent of respondents worked with an international client in 2017
  • 37 percent spoke a language other than English.
  • Personal contacts, previous clients, and business contacts accounted for 72 percent of referrals or leads. The agent’s firm or franchise’s website or social media was the primary source of online leads, followed by other aggregator websites, and Realtor.com.