Florida Real Estate Market Remains Most Popular Abroad

The Florida real estate market was again the most popular residential market in the U.S. to foreign homebuyers over the 12-month period from April 2014 to March 2015. Of the 209,000 homes sold to foreign buyers over the said 12-month period, 21% were in Florida.

 

 

The Florida real estate market has been the top selling U.S. market in the international arena over the past several years. Since 2007, the year the National Association of Realtors started conducting realtor surveys regarding home sales to international buyers, Florida has had the biggest shares of total U.S. sales to international home buyers.

Florida California Texas Arizona
2015 21% 16% 8% 5%
2014 23% 14% 12% 6%
2013 23% 17% 9% 9%
2012 26% 11% 7% 7%
2011 31% 12% 9% 6%
2010 22% 12% 8% 11%
2009 23% 13% 11% 7%
2008 25% 9% 7% 9%
2007 26% 16% 10% 6%

Why Is Florida Favored by International Home Buyers?

One of the major reasons is Florida’s nearly all-year beautiful weather. Easy access to the Gulf of Mexico beaches and the Atlantic Ocean beaches is another reason. Canadian snowbirds’ love for Florida’s beaches and sunshine has been written about over the years. For many South Americans, Florida is the state nearest to them, and it’s usually the state where their friends or relatives have settled.

Florida’s favorable home prices and state taxation are also attractive to home buyers. Buying beach homes or resort-area homes at lower costs gives buyers better earning opportunities for renting out their properties as vacation homes.

Rounding out the Top Four States were California, Texas, and Arizona. Following behind these four states, with shares ranging from 2% to 3% were New Jersey, New York, Illinois, Washington State, Michigan and Hawaii.

The total value of foreign sales of homes over the 12-month period from April 2014 to March 2015 was around $104 billion, about 8 percent of the total value of existing home sales across the U.S. The average home sales price was almost $500,000, nearly double the average home sales price across the U.S. over the said 12-month period, which was around $256,000.

The top Florida cities searched by foreign buyers on realtor.com were the following:

Miami
Orlando
Miami Beach
Kissimmee
Naples
Fort Lauderdale
Cape Coral
Jupiter
TAMPA

Among all U.S. cities, Miami was second only to Los Angeles in number of U.S. home searches made by prospective buyers on realtor.com over the said 12-month period.

Many realtors who participated in the survey observed that in Florida, buyers prefer places in South Florida over the northern cities. The Southeast Coast attracts a lot of South and Central Americans while the Southwest Coast attract a lot of Canadians.