Tracking $12B in out-of-state and foreign home purchases in Palm Beach County

Here are the origins of 14K buyers from outside Florida who poured into the housing market since 2021

Out-of-State and Foreign Home Buyers in Palm Beach County
(Illustration by The Real Deal with Getty)

The pandemic sparked a massive migration to South Florida, and many of the most well-heeled transplants settled in Palm Beach County. The influx earned West Palm Beach the nickname “Wall Street South,” due to the number of New York City bankers decamping to the area.

Palm Beach County has attracted buyers from across the country, and around the world. To get an idea of where those buyers came from, and how much money they spent, The Real Deal scoured Palm Beach County tax assessment records and examined 96,219 home sales from Jan. 1, 2021 to March 1, 2024, totaling over $71 billion in volume, looking for foreign and out-of-state buyers. 

The vast majority of residential sales in the county during that period were to other Florida buyers. Yet, TRD identified 13,108 deals with buyers in other U.S. states and 1,224 sales to buyers with addresses in foreign countries, totaling over $11 billion and nearly $1 billion in volume, respectively. Foreign and out-of-state buyers accounted for about 19 percent of sales for Palm Beach County in the period studied.

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The top state of origin for out-of-state buyers was New York, with 4,598 deals adding up to nearly $3.3 billion in sales, which represented 29 percent of the total volume for U.S. buyers from outside of Florida. About 37 percent of that volume went to buyers listing an address in New York City. Manhattan residents dropped the most on homes in Palm Beach County — a total of just over $738 million — which was over 61 percent of the total for the five boroughs.

New Jersey residents bought the second-most Palm Beach County property after New York, with 2,013 deals totaling over $1.3 billion. 

Massachusetts came in third with 889 purchases totaling nearly $840 million, followed by Pennsylvania with 704 deals and nearly $693 million in volume. California rounded out the top five with 554 purchases totaling nearly $653 million.

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As for foreign buyers, the biggest fans by far, perhaps unsurprisingly, were buyers from the Great White North. Canadians scooped up 1,067 homes in Palm Beach County since the start of 2021 — a whopping 87 percent of all home purchases by foreign buyers. The nearly $871 million in sales represented over 89 percent of the total for foreign sales.

Clearly, no other country even came close to Canada’s haul, but the United Kingdom stood out among the also-rans with nearly $34 million in total volume across 20 deals. The numbers dropped off after that, however.

Ranked by volume, Turkey came in No. 3 with over $7.7 million and 25 deals, followed by France with nearly $7.5 million for eight purchases. Greece rounded out the top five with $7.1 million for a single sale.

As might be expected, given the region’s close relationship with South Florida, several Latin American countries ranked in the top 20 for Palm Beach Country’s foreign buyers. Buyers from Peru, Colombia, Brazil, Chile and Argentina collectively dropped over $15 million on 45 homes in the area since the start of 2021.

Access the comprehensive data set supporting this ranking, including key contact information, here. Put the power of real data in your hands with TRD Data.