Foreign Buyers Helping Florida Real Estate Turn Around

Battered by one of its worst metaphoric storms—that of the plunging economy—Florida has struggled. The Sunshine State has been on national top ten lists of declining property values and foreclosures for months, if not years. But finally, with happier statistics in places like Miami and Orlando, we’re seeing sunny skies return to Florida real estate.

In January of this year, the average sales price for single-family homes in the Miami-Dade metro increased 40.4% from $238,527 in 2011 to $334,952 in 2012.  In that same year-over-year period, condos, which for awhile seemed almost impossible to sell, became hot again, their average sale price jumping 45.2%, from $171,077 in 2011 to $248,443 in 2012. Orlando has enjoyed an uptick too, though not as dramatic as Miami’s. In May, 2012, Orlando posted a 9% increase in its median home price year-over-year.  It was also up 11% from January of 2012, showing a monthly gain in value.

Much of this turn-around is attributed to foreign buyers, who may be purchasing Florida property either for investment or for permanent residence. The National Association of Realtors reported that between May 2011 and January, the Miami metro area accounted for 30% percent of international sales in Florida, while the Orlando area accounted for 14%. Local agents, quoted on Inman news, think this figure is actually under-estimated, as foreign buyers can also buy under a company or LLC name, rather than as an individual. In those cases, they may not get tracked as “foreign.”

Attracted by good value for these properties, warm climates, and America’s openness to international buyers, foreigners are helping Florida cities regain their real estate footing. But most of those same aspects that appeal to an international audience should appeal to a national one as well. If you’re interested in the value and beauty of Florida real estate, start your search here.

Anna Marie Erwert writes from both the renter and new buyer perspective, having (finally) achieved both statuses. She focuses on national real estate trends, specializing in the San Francisco Bay Area and Pacific Northwest. Follow Anna on Twitter: @AnnaMarieErwert.

Photo via Wikimedia Commons/Dominican

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