In the dynamic real estate landscape of 2023, Miami emerged as the undisputed leader in the U.S. market, drawing considerable attention from international buyers. According to a comprehensive report by Miami Realtors, a remarkable one in five U.S. international home sales took place in Florida, and of those, an impressive half were concentrated in the bustling Miami metropolitan area. The figures underscored the city’s commanding presence, with $5.1 billion worth of homes being sold to international buyers in South Florida alone during the course of the year.
Zooming out to encompass the entire state, a separate report from Florida Realtors indicated that Florida, as a whole, became the stage for real estate transactions totaling $12.6 billion with foreign buyers. The allure of Miami, in particular, prompted buyers to be undeterred by high price tags, with many displaying a willingness to invest despite having limited prior exposure to the state. The Miami Realtors report shed light on the fact that a substantial 73% of foreign buyers had visited Florida a mere two times or less before making their property purchases, and an intriguing 6% had never set foot in the state before sealing the deal.
While previous years had seen considerable attention from Russian and South American buyers, the global spotlight on Florida expanded in 2023. Michael Martirena, a luxury real estate agent with Compass, attributed Miami’s enduring international appeal to its rapid evolution into a more sophisticated city, marked by advancements in lifestyle, finance, technology, and shopping.
Interestingly, amidst this international real estate fervor, Germany emerged as a new player of note. Although not claiming the top spot in terms of the number of purchases, Germany commanded attention by registering the highest global web searches for South Florida real estate in both September and October.
Conversely, interest from some other nations waned. Despite China leading in global web searches for Miami homes at the beginning of the year, Chinese buyers constituted only 2% of Florida buyers by the year’s end. Nevertheless, it’s worth noting that China retained its status as the top country of origin for international buyers in the broader U.S. real estate market, contributing a substantial $13.6 billion out of a total foreign investment pool of $53.3 billion, as per data from the National Association of Realtors.
A closer look at the countries making significant contributions to Florida’s real estate market in 2023, based on insights from Florida and Miami Realtors, reveals a diverse landscape:
Canada (18%): Despite a slight decline from previous years, Canadians remained a formidable force, constituting 18% of international buyers and investing over $2 billion in Florida’s real estate. Notably, they showed a preference for vacation homes, with more than half of their purchases designated as second homes. Furthermore, a striking 81% of Canadian purchases were all-cash transactions.
Colombia (10%): Colombian buyers secured the second spot with 10% of the market share. Their distinct focus on rental properties was evident, as almost 50% of homes purchased by Colombians were intended for generating rental income. Broward County saw a significant presence, with Colombians making up 19% of international purchases.
Brazil (7%): Brazilian spending held steady at 7% of all foreign purchases in Florida. Although the number of purchases was less than that of Colombians, Brazilians displayed a penchant for higher-value transactions. Their real estate purchases totaled nearly $1.5 billion, with a notable concentration in Palm Beach County, where the average home sale price skyrocketed to $20 million.
Argentina (7%): Argentinian buyers also accounted for 7% of international purchases. What set them apart was their inclination toward all-cash deals, boasting an impressive 91%, surpassing the rates of both Canadians and buyers from the United Kingdom. Condominiums were particularly favored, with nearly 70% of residential purchases falling into this property type. Remarkably, almost 70% of Argentinian purchases were earmarked for rental income.
United Kingdom (4%): A notable observation in 2023 was the increasing presence of European homebuyers, particularly from the United Kingdom, constituting 4% of buyers in Florida. In contrast to other foreign buyers, those from the U.K. showcased a preference for single-family homes (nearly 60% of purchases) and a focus on acquiring vacation homes (43% of purchases).