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Florida Tops Nation In Home Purchases by Foreigners Florida Accounted for 22% of All International Residential Real Estate Activity in the United States

The National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) recently released the 2016 Profile of International Activity in U.S. Residential Real Estate, which tracked residential real estate activity of international buyers from April 2015 to March 2016.  The NAR’s report found that between April 2015 and March 2016, 214,885 residential properties were purchased in the United States by foreign buyers, accounting for $103.9 billion in sales.

This represents a nearly 3% increase over the previous 12-month period. In addition, the report concluded that five states – Florida, California, Texas, Arizona, and New York – accounted for over half of all residential real estate activity in the United States by foreign buyers.  Florida topped the list with 22% of all sales.

Tim Shears began his Real Estate career in London before moving to the Bay area as the Broker/Owner of Sotheby's International Realty in Pinellas County and has worked with a global network of buyers for years.

He is now bringing his international experience to Smith and Associates Real Estate, Tampa Bay’s most successful independent real estate firm and says, “For years, I have been seeing an uptick in the amount of international buyers looking to purchase a home in the Bay area. The fact that Florida is number one is no surprise to me. I have always sought to work closely with real estate offices and agents from around the world assuring the discretionary service that they need to feel safe in their purchases. Despite volatile exchange rates, Bay area property still represents a sound purchase for international buyers."

To further promote Tampa Bay on an international level, Smith & Associates Real Estate partnered with the prestigious Mayfair International Realty, a global real estate group comprised of leading brokerage firms from around the world and catering to international buyers.  Based in London, Mayfair International markets luxury properties through global outlets such as the Financial Times, and can reach buyers all over the world with their listings.

Of the relationship, Bob Glaser, President and CEO of Smith & Associates Real Estate says, “We are proud of our successful partnership with Mayfair International and the global market it has introduced us to. Together, we are able to attract a large number of discerning international clients to the Tampa Bay area from areas that have a high volume of interested buyers but are harder for us to market to, like the Asian countries.”

The NAR’s 2016 Profile also highlighted the types of international buyers in the United States.  The top five countries of international buyers in the U.S. are China, Canada, Mexico, India, and the United Kingdom.

Their purchases were valued higher than the median price of all U.S. home sales and the majority were purchased with cash.  Nearly half of the sales were in suburban areas.  Buyers from China exceeded those from every other country in both volume and sale prices, accounting for 14% of international residential real estate activity in the U.S.

While international buyers purchased real estate in all 50 states, the majority of homes were purchased in Florida, thanks in part to the year-round pleasant climate, award-winning beaches, and easy to access international airports.

Buyers from Europe, Canada, and Latin America looking for a warm weather vacation retreat more often bought real estate in Florida than any other state. 

Glaser has noticed this increased demand for homes in Tampa Bay by international buyers. “Our agents have definitely seen an increase in the number of foreign buyers looking to purchase a second home or relocate to the United States,” said Glaser. “International buyers love the Florida weather and are looking for homes with high-end amenities, walkability to the urban core, and proximity to the beach. This makes Tampa Bay an ideal location.”

To read the entire 2016 Profile of International Activity of U.S. Residential Real Estate Activity, please visit http://www.realtor.org/reports/profile-of-international-home-buying-activity.