Miami now accounts for half of all Florida international home sales. The Miami/Fort Lauderdale market dominates foreign buyer wishlists, from Brazilians to the Chinese, reveal new figures from the Miami Association of Realtors.
Around 36 per cent of all international housing deals between June 2014 and June 2015 occurred in the Miami area. Fort Lauderdale was the second-most popular foreign destination in Florida, with 14 per cent of all transactions – almost double that of the next most popular Sunshine State area of Orlando-Kissimmee.
Miami’s Miami Beach finished as the top location in the entire state for foreign buyers for Brazilians, Chinese, Latin American/Caribbean, Venezuelans, and Western European home buyers. What is the secret to its overseas appeal?
South Florida has long ranked as one of America’s top places for international home buyers, because of its world-class amenities, global business center and proximity to Latin America. Indeed, Florida – and South Florida, in particular – have always been one of the biggest drivers of activity for US property on TheMoveChannel.com.
South Florida’s sizeable share of foreign buyer attention is significant, according to Miami Realtors, not only because international consumers are adding to the city’s diversity and entrepreneurial businesses, but because they are significantly impacting the local economy. Indeed, international buyers spent an average of $538,600 on Florida property, according to the survey, far higher than the $258,200 median price of Florida residential sales in the year to June 2015.
“From Brazil to China to Venezuela to Western Europe and beyond, foreign buyers want to own a piece of Miami and Fort Lauderdale real estate,” comments John Dohm, the Chairman of the Board.
Indeed, Venezuelans accounted for 21 per cent of Miami’s sales to foreign buyers, ahead of a diverse list of buyers that includes Argentina (13 per cent), Brazil (12 per cent), Colombia (8 per cent), Mexico (4 per cent), China (4 per cent), and France (3 per cent).
Palm Beach is particularly popular among investors from Canada and the UK, attracted by its beaches, but also major industries such as biotech, tourism and agriculture.
This demand, coupled with the US economic recovery, has helped to drive up house prices in Florida from $245,500 in the past 12 months to $258,200. Nonetheless, the city remains attractive to buyers.
This is for two reasons. Firstly, Miami is one of the most popular places for prime property investors. Indeed, Miami ranked as the sixth most important city in the world to ultra-high-net-worth individuals by Knight Frank’s 2015 Wealth Report – New York was the only other US city to make the top 10 list. Secondly, Miami is also extremely affordable.
“Miami luxury home buyers can purchase a larger home at a better price compared to other world-class global cities,” says Christopher Zoller, the 2015 Residential President of Miami Realtors. “The strength of the dollar coupled with Miami’s growth as a leading global city is leading more executives, hedge-funders and businessmen to buy luxury properties here.”
South Florida offers many things a luxury buyer would have on their wish list, from oceanfront views to world-class art to top-tier amenities. The price is the icing on the cake. Research from Christie’s International found that $5 million Miami could buy a six-bedroom, 6,475 square-foot, custom-built waterfront home. In London, that would fetch just a two-bedroom home at 1,319 square feet.
As the US dollar is expected to climb on the Federal Reserve’s imminent rate hike, and prices continue to climb, demand appears set to continue for Miami real estate, both for wealthy investors and regular buyers. Indeed, over two-thirds of Florida Realtors now have international clients, compared to 35 per cent across the whole of the US.