Foreign buyers, long credited with breathing life into Florida’s real estate market, spent $10.71 billion during the year ended June 30, accounting for 19 percent of total residential sales volume, according to a study by Florida Realtors.
Miami and Miami Beach remained by far the favorite spot for international buyers, totaling 31.3 percent of all sales, with Fort Lauderdale coming in second with 11.6 percent.
Non-resident Canadians accounted for 31 percent of foreign purchases, down from 39 percent last year, but remained the No. 1 nationality to buy in Florida, the report said. Brazilians ranked No. 2, totaling 9 percent of purchases, up from 8 percent last year.
Buyers from Latin America and the Caribbean together made up 35 percent of all foreign purchases, while Western Europeans amounted to 22 percent, down slightly from 23 percent a year earlier.
Some 82 percent of foreign sales were all cash, down from 86 percent in 2011, said the study. which noted many foreigners have trouble getting mortgages in the United States because of a lack of credit history.
“Among recent foreign buyers in Florida, the use of mortgage financing was much less frequent than the overall national average,’’ the study said. “Overall, 17 percent of foreign buyers reported financing their purchase with a mortgage.’’
By contrast, 87 percent of U.S. homebuyers used mortgage financing, according to data from the National Association of Realtors.
Among Brazilians, 49 percent picked a place in Miami-Dade, with Fort Lauderdale emerging as their next favorite spot, with 18.6 percent share, the report said.
Canadians bought across the state, with the Bradenton-Sarasota-Venice area ranking as their favorite with a 14.4 percent share, followed by the Miami-Fort Lauderdale area with 12.9 percent, and Naples-Marco Island area with an 11.9 percent share.
Buyers from the United Kingdom totaled 5 percent of all foreign purchases, down from 7 percent in the year-earlier period.