What International Buyers are Looking for in the Florida Market

Dated: August 15 2020

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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.

ORLANDO, Fla. – Nov. 26, 2019 – Florida Realtors® has released its latest report on the state's foreign buyer and seller transactions, the 2019 Profile of International Residential Real Estate Activity. The one year-report – from August 2018 through July 2019 – found a similar trend to the nation as a whole – declines driven by the strong dollar and a worsening global economic outlook outside of the U.S.

The U.S. dollar has strengthened against other major currencies since 2018, making a U.S. home purchase less affordable. From July 2018 to July 2019, the dollar strengthened against the Chinese yuan (2.5%), euro (4.2%), British pound (5.6%), Mexican peso (0.3%), Indian rupee (0.1%). It slightly weakened against the Canadian dollar (-0.2%), and the Brazilian real   (-1.1%). A stronger dollar means that foreign buyers spend more of their local currency to purchase U.S. property.

Rising economic growth improves the spending capability of foreign buyers to purchase a property. The world economy expanded at a slower pace of 3.6% in 2018 and is projected to grow even less at 3.3% through 2019. Growth is slowing in the United Kingdom (1.2%), China (6.6%), and Mexico (1.6%), but is slightly recovering on a region-wide basis in Latin America and the Caribbean (1.4%).

Here are highlights from the 2019 report:

$16 Billion

Dollar volume of Florida’s existing homes purchased by foreign buyers during August 2018–July 2019, which is 12% of the dollar volume of Florida’s existing home sales (30% decrease from $22.9 billion during the prior 12-month period)


Number of existing homes purchased in Florida by foreign buyers, which is 9% of existing-home sales (30% decrease from 52,000 during the prior 12-month period)


Share of foreign buyers whose primary residence is abroad (Type A)

Florida’s top 5 foreign buyers

  1. Canada ($3.3 B)
  2. Brazil ($1.6 B)
  3. Argentina ($1.3 B)
  4. Venezuela ($0.9 B)
  5. Colombia ($0.8 B)

Top 5 foreign buyer destinations

  1. Miami-Ft. Lauderdale-West Palm Beach (53% of foreign buyers)
  2. Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford (11%)
  3. Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater (7%)
  4. Cape Coral-Ft. Myers (6%)
  5. North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton (5%)


Foreign buyer median purchase price ($246,479 for all Florida existing-homes sold)


Foreign buyers who paid all-cash


Foreign buyers who intended to use the property for vacation, residential rental, or both uses


Foreign buyers who purchased condo or co-op units


Percent of foreign buyers who visited Florida at least once before making a purchase


Percent of foreign buyers who were referrals of personal and business contacts and former clients, or who were former clients


Percent of respondents who speak a language other than English


Percent of respondents who “have not had problems” working with foreign buyers


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Tammy Broxson

Tammy Broxson is the Broker Owner of Broxson Real Estate Group, a boutique real estate brokerage in Florida. Tammy is also a State of Florida Real Estate Instructor and a mentor to other real estate p....

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