Foreigners buy more in SoFla than anywhere in state

A shot of Miami's skyline
A shot of Miami's skyline

South Florida made up more than half of the state’s home sales to international buyers over the last 12 months, according to a new survey from the Miami Association of Realtors.

The survey asked Realtors throughout the state about their clients’ home turf, and those in the Miami and Fort Lauderdale markets represented more than 50 percent of the state’s home sales to buyers abroad.

According to the association, the survey looked at sales from June 2014 to June 2015. Florida as a whole saw roughly 44,000 home sales to international buyers during that time period, representing 12 percent of the total purchases. That equates to about $23.7 billion worth of properties trading hands to foreign buyers.

In South Florida specifically, Miami made up 36 percent of the state’s international home sales. Fort Lauderdale saw a 14 percent share, followed by Orlando with 8 percent and Sarasota with 7 percent.

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And out of South Florida’s many neighborhoods, the usual suspects all prefer to buy in Miami: 44 percent of Brazilian buyers chose Miami, as did 42 percent of Chinese, 41 percent of Venezuelans and 27 percent of Western Europeans.

Despite these big numbers, the survey did show a drastic decrease in the amount of home purchases made by foreign buyers this year.

Between June 2013 and June 2014, roughly 52,300 homes were sold to people from outside the U.S. Compared to the 44,000 sold between June this year and last, the numbers of foreign nationals picking up properties in South Florida has fallen significantly.

Several reports have attributed this decrease to Miami’s tightening real estate market, which is seeing a buildup of condo supply and fewer home sales across the board. — Sean Stewart-Muniz