Foreign buyers are a major driving force behind the Miami real estate market. In all, foreign buyers spent $6.2 billion in real estate transactions last year in Miami, an increase year over year according to the 2016 Profile of International Homebuyers of Miami Association of Realtors Members. While many reports have warned that foreign purchasing in South Florida is shifting from residential to commercial, this study shows that residential sales amognst foreign home buyers is alive and growing.
South America still leads the list with Venezuela leading the way at 15% share of 2016 foreign residential sales, up 2% from last year. Venezuela is closely followed by Argentina, Brazil and Colombia. Although Argentina leads Brazil, Brazil in-fact spent more over the course of the time period, with Brazilians investing over $400 million in South Florida real estate over that time period. Venezuelans and Brazilians accounted for more in total sales volume in South Florida than all other international buyers combined during the timeframe. Brazilians were also the largest spenders, with the average buy spending $775,000. The average for a foreign buyer in Miami to spend is $570,000. Canadians were second at around $650,000 per investor. In general, Brazil investment has stalled in-terms of growth due to economic and political turmoil in the country while in Venezuela people are trying to escape a three-year plus recesseion. The study was performed in collaboration with MIAMI and the National Association of Realtors between August 2015 to July 2016.