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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.

Venezuelan Home Buyers Rank as South Florida’s Top International Clients

by | Aug 16, 2017

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Venezuelan consumers bought the most South Florida real estate among all foreign countries last year.

The oil-rich South American country with 31 million residents registered 15 percent of the $6.2 billion in South Florida residential real estate purchases by foreign buyers, according to the 2016 Profile of International Homebuyers of MIAMI Association of RELATORS® Members. The National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) conducts the annual profile for MIAMI.

Venezuela — which is currently experiencing 700 percent inflation rate, social unrest and political chaos — has led the annual list since NAR began conducting surveys for MIAMI in 2006.

South Florida’s global business center, world-class shopping, affordability compared to other world cities, and outdoor lifestyle are some reasons why Venezuelans purchase property here. Venezuelan investors are also active in Miami commercial markets, including projects in Wynwood and Little Havana.

Top Countries Investing in South Florida 
                  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)

Venezuelan Buyer Characteristics
Venezuelans preferred Miami-Dade over Broward, according to the 2016 Profile of International Homebuyers of MIAMI Association of RELATORS® Members. About 66 percent of Venezuelan residential buyers purchased in Miami-Dade. About 28 percent purchased in Broward County, 2 percent bought in Palm Beach County and 5 percent chose another South Florida county.

Venezuela ranked as the top foreign buyer in both Miami-Dade and Broward. Venezuelan consumers registered 17 percent of all foreign transactions and 18 percent of all transactions in Miami and Broward, respectively.

Venezuelans paid on average $534,000 for South Florida properties. In comparison, all MIAMI buyers spend $352,900 on average. Foreign buyers of Florida Realtors members spend $412,100 on average, while foreign buyers in the U.S. spend $477,500 on average.

Country                                Avg. Purchase Price for South Florida Real Estate

1. Brazil                                 $775,000
2. Canada                             $646,00
3. Venezuela                        $534,000
4. Argentina                          $406,00
5. Colombia                          $388,000

71 Percent of Venezuelan Buyers Pay All-Cash
About 71 percent of Venezuelan buyers paid all-cash for South Florida real estate. Among all foreign buyers, Venezuela tied for third with Colombia for highest percentage of cash sales. Canada (81 percent) and Argentina (78 percent) were first and second. About 72 percent of South Florida international buyers paid all-cash, according to the 2016 Profile.

Most Venezuelan buyers purchased condominiums in the central city/urban areas. About 48 percent of Venezuelans preferred condominiums over townhouse (26 percent) and single-family homes (24 percent). About 63 percent of Venezuelan buyers bought in the central city/urban locations over suburban (26 percent), small town (3 percent), rural area (3 percent) and resort area (6 percent).

Venezuelans Buy Properties for Rental Reasons
Venezuelans mostly use their South Florida property for residential rentals. About 36 percent of Venezuelans intend to use their properties for residential rentals; 20 percent for vacation home, 17 percent for both vacation and residential rental, 16 percent for primary residence, 6 percent didn’t list a reason.

Venezuelans Purchase in Doral, Fla. and Weston, Fla.
While Venezuelans purchase all over South Florida two local cities — Doral in Miami-Dade County and Weston in Broward County — have high percentage of Venezuelan-born residents.

About 28 percent of Doral’s 59,000 residents are of Venezuelan ethnicity. Doral, which ranks among the fastest-growing cities in the United States, has been nicknamed “Doralzuela.” Doral was the first city to elect a Venezuelan-American mayor when Luigi Boria was elected. Weston has also earned the nickname of “Westonzuela.”

The population of Venezuelan-born residents in Broward, Palm Beach and Miami Dade counties has increased rapidly — up 250 percent from 2000 to 2013, Census numbers show — to more than 80,000.

Safe Place to Invest
Like other international buyers, Venezuelans view Miami as a safe place to invest their money. In an ideal location for a resort lifestyle, Miami provides foreign home buyers safety of investment that they don’t typically see in their respective homelands. The U.S. has a trustworthy legal system, which places importance on property rights.

Historical-low interest rates in addition to world-class condominiums with oceanfront views are attracting international home buyers to South Florida.

Miami Welcomes All Cultures
Venezuelans enjoy South Florida’s unique multilingual, multicultural population. Miami is the most international city in the U.S. About 51.3 percent of Miami residents are foreign born, according to the U.S. Census. Miami’s concentration of foreign-born residents is more than double the national average of 19.4 percent.

Affordability, World-Class Amenities
South Florida has world-class amenities like the Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science, the Pérez Art Museum Miami and the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts in Downtown Miami. Miami is not only a dynamic place to live, but it’s also incredibly affordable compared to cities like New York and San Francisco.

A 120-square meter condominium in Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Miami Beach cost $170,000 in 2016 Q3, according to the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR). The average cost of a 120-square meter apartment in 2016 in the prime inner city areas of London ($4.1 million), Hong Kong ($3.1 million), and New York ($2.2 million) were at least ten times higher, according to Global Property Guide.

Direct Flights
Miami International Airport (MIA) offers 160 direct flights, including 25 to South America. MIA has non-stop flights to three Venezuelan cities: Caracas (American Airlines, Santa Barbara Airlines), Barcelona (Avior Airlines) and Maracaibo (American Airlines). Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL) has 116 direct flights, including 60 international destinations.

Boosting the Market
Venezuelans are part of a significant number of South Florida international buyers who are increasingly purchasing property in South Florida. The foreign clients want to live, work, and play in our multicultural, multilingual region. The international buyers are not only paying more on average for properties, they tend to do it with all-cash.

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