Venezuela leads SoFla’s $6.2B in foreign resi investment in 2016: report

Downtown Miami skyline (Credit: Getty Images). Inset: Venezuelan flag
Downtown Miami skyline (Credit: Getty Images). Inset: Venezuelan flag

Foreign investors spent $6.2 billion on residential properties in South Florida last year with Venezuela leading the pack, according to the Miami Association of Realtors. 

Buyers from Venezuela, Argentina, Brazil and Colombia, and Canada spent the most on homes in Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach and Marin counties, a newly released report shows. Mexican, French and Peruvian investment tied for fifth place. Altogether, investors from those countries accounted for 64 percent of foreign sales in South Florida last year.

South Florida also saw a year-over-year increase in international purchases of residential properties of about $100 million compared to 2015. And more than half of Florida’s foreign deals in 2016 (52 percent) were for homes in South Florida. Within South Florida, Miami-Dade took 80 percent, Broward 16.4 percent and Palm Beach 3 percent.

Venezuelan buyers spent $868 million of the $6.2 billion, and Brazilians invested $861 million into South Florida homes, according to the report.

Some real estate agents are banking on Venezuelan investment as the wealthy look to move their money out of the country during a period of political and economic instability. Venezuelan investors are also active in Miami’s commercial markets, including projects in Little Havana and Wynwood.

Here’s the breakdown of foreign purchases of South Florida homes by county:


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  1. Venezuela (17 percent)
  2. Brazil (15 percent)
  3. Argentina (14 percent
  4. Colombia (8 percent)
  5. Italy, Mexico and Canada (4 percent each)


  1. Venezuela (18 percent)
  2. Colombia (17 percent)
  3. Canada (13 percent)
  4. Argentina (12 percent)
  5. Brazil (10 percent)

Palm Beach

  1. Canada (30 percent)
  2. Venezuela (9 percent)
  3. Brazil, Germany and Italy (7 percent each)
  4. Argentina, Colombia, Ireland and Russia (4 percent each)

Martin County

  1. Canada (21 percent)
  2. Australia and Brazil (13 percent)
  3. Germany and Venezuela (8 percent each)

– Katherine Kallergis