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International Sales in Greater Miami Top $5.1 Billion in 2021, Despite COVID

Michael Gerrity - World Property Journal

3 nov 2021

Based on the Miami Association of Realtors latest annual Profile of International Home Buyers Report, South Florida posted strong international home sales in 2021 despite Covid-19 global travel bans as the Miami mega region outperformed Florida and the nation. Going forward, Miami global investment is set to surge with vaccinated foreigners being allowed to resume travel to the U.S. this month, pent-up demand and a weaker U.S. dollar.

Foreign homebuyers purchased $5.1 billion of South Florida residential properties in 2021, down 9% from $5.6 billion in 2020. Because the Miami mega region is the No. 1 U.S. destination for global consumers and home to diversified foreign homebuyers, the Miami global market outperformed the state and nation. Statewide, international homebuyer dollar volume declined 22% ($15.6 billion last year to $12.3 billion in 2021). Nationally, global homebuyer dollar volume declined 27% (from $74 billion to $54.4 billion).

"For South Florida international homebuying to remain essentially on par with the previous year despite the lockdowns and bans on international travel speaks to the incredible resiliency and the allure of our market," Miami Chairman of the Board Jennifer Wollmann said. "We expect a significant increase in foreign visitors once the U.S. opens its borders to international travelers on November 8. Global buyers purchase in Miami because it is a world-class global city with better real estate prices than other similar global cities. Foreign buyers feel at home with our diversity and acceptance of all cultures."

The profile surveyed Miami members' international residential transactions from August 2020 to July 2021.

South Florida Registers More than Half of all Florida International Home Sales

Florida is the top U.S. destination for foreign buyers (21% of all sales), according to NAR's 2021 Profile of International transactions in U.S. Residential Real Estate. Florida has been the No. 1 state for foreign home buyers for the last 13 years.

More than half of all international home sales in Florida (52%) are in Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach, according to the Florida Realtors 2021 Profile of International Residential Real Estate Activity in Florida. Orlando finished No. 2 with 10%, and Tampa is No. 3 with 8%. One in five of all U.S. international home sales happen in Florida and one in two in Florida are in the Miami metro market.

South Florida is the top destination for all the top countries buying in Florida: Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Colombia and Venezuela, according to the Florida Realtors study.

South Florida secures about 10% of all international home sales in the entire U.S.

South Florida Foreign Homebuyer Market Share is Four Times Larger than the U.S. Figure

South Florida foreign buyers purchases accounted for 14% of total dollar volume and 13% of all South Florida residential properties sold in 2021, according to the MIAMI and NAR report. No other market in the U.S. has those figures.

At 13%, South Florida's foreign homebuyer market share remains more than three times the state figure and four times larger than the nation. Statewide, the global homebuyer market share of all closed sales is 4%. Nationally, the global homebuyer market share is 3%.

New York: Top State Purchasing in South Florida

New York ranked as the No. 1 state purchasing in South Florida, according to the MIAMI and NAR Report. New York purchases in Miami increased from 24% in 2020 to 29% in 2021. California (15%) and New Jersey (9%) also increased their homebuying activity in South Florida.

A surge in out-of-state individuals and companies purchasing and relocating to South Florida this year has fueled a record-breaking year for South Florida real estate. Seven of the top 10 sales months in Miami history have happened this year and Miami existing condo sales broke the record for most annual sales in only nine months.

Miami-Dade County Has the Largest Share of South Florida Foreign Buyers

Miami-Dade County accounted for the largest share of South Florida's foreign buyers (65% in 2021; 70% in 2020). Broward County saw an increase in foreign buyers (27% in 2021; 26% in 2020). Palm Beach County had 3%, up from 2% in 2020.

The foreign buyer market share of total sales in each county in 2021 are: Miami-Dade County (13%), Broward County (11%) and Palm Beach County (10%).

Argentina: Top Foreign Country Buying South Florida Real Estate

Argentina is the top foreign country purchasing South Florida real estate. It is the second consecutive year Argentina finished as No. 1.

The top countries of origin for consumers purchasing properties in South Florida are:

1. Argentina (13% of South Florida foreign purchases)
2. Colombia (12%)
3. Venezuela (10%)
4. Mexico (7%)
5. Chile and Brazil (6% each)
6. Peru and Canada (5% each)
7. Ecuador (4%)
8. Spain and France (3%)

These top tier countries of origin -- Argentina, Colombia, Venezuela, Mexico, Chile, Brazil, Peru, Canada, Ecuador, Spain and France -- account for 74% of all South Florida international closed sales.

South Florida's foreign buyers come from more than 40 countries. Other U.S. markets are limited to two or three countries. The diversified number of markets that purchase in Miami allows the region to always post high global sales because when one foreign market declines, others step up to take its place.

Countries purchasing in Miami include: Argentina, Colombia, Venezuela, Mexico, Chile, Brazil, Peru, Canada, Ecuador, Spain, France, Bahamas, Dominican Republic, Honduras, Costa Rica, Barbados, Bolivia, Paraguay, Egypt, Israel, Iraq, Iran, Turkey, Greece, Italy, Switzerland, Spain, Portugal, United Kingdom, Sweden, Russia, China, India, South Korea, Malaysia, Vietnam, Indonesia, Japan, Cuba, Haiti, South Africa, Singapore, Jamaica, Czech Republic, and more.

Colombia is the No. 1 Country Buying in Miami-Dade County

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

1. Colombia (15%)
2. Argentina (14%)
3. Venezuela (10%)
4. Mexico (8%)
5. Brazil and Peru (7% each)
6. Chile and Canada (4% each)

Other countries that purchased properties in Miami-Dade included Ecuador, Italy, Spain, Turkey, Costa Rica, Bolivia, Nicaragua, Dominican Republic, France, China, Cuba, Panama and Russia.

Argentina is the No. 1 Country Buying in Broward County

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

1. Argentina (17%)
2. Colombia (15%)
3. Peru (8%)
4. Canada, Venezuela and Chile (7% each)
5. Brazil, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Mexico and Spain (3% each)

Other countries that purchased properties in Broward included Bolivia, Ecuador, Bahamas, China, Czech Republic, India, Iran, Italy, Jamaica, Singapore, South Africa, United Kingdom and Uruguay.

Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Colombia are the Top Countries Buying in Palm Beach County

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

1. Argentina, Brazil, Canada and Colombia (18% each)
2. Chile, Peru and Ukraine (9% each)

Foreign Home Buyers Spend 9% More on Average vs. Nation

Foreign home buyers spend more on real estate than other buyers, and South Florida real estate buyers spend a higher median price than other international buyers in the U.S.

International home buyers spent a median price of $386,200 for residential properties in 2021. In comparison, foreign buyers in the United States spend $351,800.

63% of South Florida International Buyers Paid in Cash

According to the new Miami Realtors and NAR survey, about 63% of all international residential transactions in South Florida were made in all-cash. That's 24% higher than the percentage of U.S. foreign buyers paying all-cash (39%).

South Florida international home buyers prefer condominiums (61%) in the central/urban areas (66%), which they intend to use mainly as residential rental, vacation home or both (72%).

7% of South Florida Foreign Buyers Purchased Homes Without Even Visiting

About 7% of South Florida foreign buyers purchased local homes without even visiting Florida in 2021. About 23% purchased with just one visit to Florida; 29% purchased with two visits; 18% bought after visiting Florida three times. About 77% purchased with three visits or less.

About 50% of Miami Realtor members worked with an international client in the past 12 months. That's more than three times the national figure of 15%.

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