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The MIAMI Association of REALTORS® features a half-page article each week in The Miami Herald –International Edition, promoting MIAMI Members and the South Florida real estate market to affluent consumers in Latin America and Europe.

Miami Real Estate: A Center for Global Investment

by | Jul 05, 2017
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Construction cranes in Downtown Miami and throughout South Florida help tell the story of a fast-growing population center and global business hub. Miami’s skyline — a visual marvel with awe-inspiring, high-rise buildings overlooking the Atlantic — has changed more rapidly than any other American city. Global investment from an array of countries have helped fuel the development.

Foreign real estate buyers purchased $6.2 billion of South Florida residential properties in 2016, up from $6.1 billion a year ago, 2016 Profile of International Home Buyers of MIAMI Association of REALTORS® (MIAMI) Members. The annual survey, which was conducted by MIAMI and the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR), is just one indicator of how attractive South Florida has become to international buyers.

According to NAR’s 2016 Profile International Residential Real Estate Activity in Florida, more than half of all international home sales in the entire state of Florida (52 percent) happen in Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach.

An Appreciating Asset
At a time when stocks, bonds and world economies are declining, Miami real estate offers an appreciating asset to global investors.

With its close proximity and easy access to Latin America, Miami has long attracted international home buyers seeking a secure place to invest their money and a safe place to live with their families. Events in other global markets, including the economic slowdown in China, will only strengthen South Florida’s position as a global destination for foreign investment.

Top Countries Investing in South Florida 
The countries of origin for consumers purchasing properties in Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach and Martin counties are: 
1.    Venezuela (15 percent of South Florida foreign purchases) 
2.    Argentina (11 percent) 
3.    Brazil and Colombia (10 percent each) 
4.    Canada (6 percent) 
5.    Mexico, France & Peru (4 percent each)

The top tier countries of origin — Venezuela, Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Canada, Mexico, France and Peru — account for 64 percent of total South Florida international closed sales.
By dollar volume, Venezuela, Brazil, Argentina, Canada and Colombia accounted for nearly half of the $6.2 billion of South Florida international home sales in 2016. Venezuelan and Brazilian buyers topped the list with $868 million and $861 million in sales volume, respectively.

The top tier of countries continues with each at 3 percent of international sales: 
● Italy 
● Ecuador 
● China 
● Dominican Republic 
● United Kingdom

Next tier countries of origin are: Spain, Germany, Australia, Honduras, South Korea, Russia, India, Costa Rica, Japan, Malaysia, Chile, Panama, Nicaragua and Portugal.

Top Countries by County 
The top countries of origin for consumers purchasing properties in Miami-Dade are: 
1.    Venezuela (17 percent) 
2.    Brazil (15 percent) 
3.    Argentina (14 percent 
4.    Colombia (8 percent) 
5.    Italy, Mexico & Canada (4 percent each)

Other top countries include Canada, France, China, the Dominican Republic and Peru.
The top countries of origin for consumers buying real estate in Broward County are: 
1.    Venezuela (18 percent) 
2.    Colombia (17 percent) 
3.    Canada (13 percent) 
4.    Argentina (12 percent) 
5.    Brazil (10 percent)

The top countries of origin for consumers buying real estate in Palm Beach County are: 
1.    Canada (30 percent) 
2.    Venezuela (9 percent) 
3.    Brazil, Germany & Italy (7 percent each) 
4.    Argentina, Colombia, Ireland & Russia (4 percent each)

The top countries of origin for consumers buying real estate in Martin County are: 
1.    Canada (21 percent) 
2.    Australia & Brazil (13 percent) 
3.    Germany & Venezuela (8 percent each)

Attracting Foreign Investment
In addition to Miami’s glamorous locale and all-year sunny weather, South Florida’s unique multiculturalism, growing jobs sector and startup business culture attract global investors and home buyers.

Miami is the most international city in the U.S. About 51.3 percent of Miami residents are foreign born and the Miami-Dade County population speaks 100 languages. Miami’s concentration of foreign-born residents is more than 2 ½ times the national average of 19.4 percent, according to the U.S. Census.

Once reliant on just tourism and real estate, Miami has diversified its economy to become one of the world’s top business hubs. Personal finance website Wallet Hub recently ranked Miami as the second-fastest growing economy among large U.S. cities, according to data from 2010 to 2014. Miami also finished No. 1 in full-time jobs increase; No. 1 in working-age population growth; No. 6 in poverty-rate decrease; No. 7 in business growth; and No. 10 for median household income growth.

Top Market for the Wealthy
Miami offers ultra-high-net-worth individuals the ability to purchase a luxurious home with access to superior schools and shopping opportunities akin to London. In addition to South Florida’s weather and beaches, the world’s elite like Miami for its developing art scene. The Art Basel show draws the world’s top collectors, and the Wynwood neighborhood has gained national and global attention for its trendy local art. The Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts and a waterfront art museum opened recently in Miami. A new science museum will open next year.

The lack of a state income tax also leads U.S. citizens, particularly those living in the colder climates in the Northeast, to establish residency here. The affluent from high tax states like New York and Connecticut can afford to purchase more expensive homes in Miami because of the tax structure.

Global Investment Reshaping Miami
Miami’s ability to attract global investment is not just seen in its robust real estate, population and start-up companies. It can be seen in its booming retail.

South Florida has numerous significant retail projects in the works, from the 500,000-square-foot open-air shopping center under construction at Brickell City Centre to the $1.7 billion planned mixed-use development Miami Worldcenter to proposed renovations at Sunset Place Shops and CocoWalk. Miami’s strong tourism and local demographics are making South Florida a top investment draw.

As a center for global investment and a major destination for international home buyers, South Florida is well positioned to continue growing as a world-class global region.

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