Sunday, July 22, 2018
Business

Foreign buyers bullish on Florida housing even if Floridians are not

To the snowbirds of Canada, the sunseekers of Europe and flight capitalists of Latin America, Florida sends you all a great big Thanks! for buying homes here in such abundance.

When it comes to international buyers snapping up housing in the United States, Florida property remains the runaway favorite. The state tallied 26 percent of international sales in the country, says a new National Association of Realtors report for the year ending March 2012.

"Florida has been the fastest-growing destination of choice," states the Profile of International Home Buying Activity 2012. California was second with 11 percent, while Texas and Arizona each had 7 percent, followed by Georgia and New York.

That Florida property has long been popular with foreign buyers is no secret. But with domestic home buyers still wary or financially unable to purchase property right now, the big international appeal of Florida homes is especially important news.

Of course, Florida has an edge.

Canadian snowbirds have deep ties with Florida and remain eager to leverage Canada's strong currency in buying deeply discounted property. (Lately, however, Canada's dollar, known by its nickname the loonie, has been slipping.)

The typical Florida home that sold in 2006 for about $260,000 now sells for less than $140,000.

Europeans like Florida for the sun and proximity. The state is easy to get to by air and many Euro-tourists are familiar with the state via previous visits, especially to the Orlando theme parks. And Latin Americans have long viewed Miami as their home away from home. Not only are South Florida real estate values considered cheap by Latin standards, but Miami has long represented a culturally simpatico destination for "flight capital" — funds invested overseas to avoid home-country restrictions on international money movement.

Most of these kinds of transactions are done in cash.

At a real estate conference held last week at St. Petersburg's Renaissance Vinoy Resort, Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez spoke about the recent hyper-glut of empty condo towers across his city's downtown. Now those towers are mostly full, thanks largely to Latin money. Gimenez expects a fresh round of construction and downtown cranes in Miami very shortly, despite news reports citing a slowdown in Brazil's economy.

On the nation's West Coast property market, in contrast, Asians are far and away the dominant international buyers.

To be clear, the NAR report defines international home buyers two ways. The first is the foreign buyer who lives outside the United States and purchases here as an investment or for vacations and visits of less than six months.

The second type of buyer is the recent immigrant or temporary visa holder residing for more than six months in the United States for professional, educational or other reasons.

Combined, the international home buyers generated $82.5 billion in property sales last year (up from $66.4 billion a year earlier), the NAR report says. Canadian buyers were tops with 24 percent of international sales in the United States.

Florida's new motto? Hang in there, loonie.

Robert Trigaux can be reached at [email protected]

Comments
Author drills into federal government’s role pushing segregation

Author drills into federal government’s role pushing segregation

Before researching his latest book, Richard Rothstein had some vague ideas about why residential segregation took root in so many communities during the 20th century.Like many of us, he had little reason to doubt the de facto explanation: A history o...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Some not-so-tiny obstacles in the growing market for tiny houses

Some not-so-tiny obstacles in the growing market for tiny houses

When Tom Alsani heard about plans for a tiny-home community in St. Petersburg, he got so excited he immediately wanted to know more. "Right now I have a house with three bedrooms but the kids are gone and I’m trying to downsize,’’ says Alsani, a qual...
Published: 07/23/18
St. Petersburg cites hotel in Historic Uptown for code violations

St. Petersburg cites hotel in Historic Uptown for code violations

Times Staff WriterST. PETERSBURG — The owner of the popular Hollander hotel has been hit with a notice of code violations at a hotel he is currently renovating. A city codes investigator found that Lake View House at 465 Seventh Ave. N is operating w...
Published: 07/23/18
At beach resorts, this bizarre sunscreen booth can mean business

At beach resorts, this bizarre sunscreen booth can mean business

Nothing will ruin your beach vacation faster than a sunburn.Get scorched, and suddenly everything that was meant to be fun isn’t: Massages at the spa hurt, day-drinking by the pool hurts, getting on jet skis hurts. Listening to your skincare-obsessed...
Published: 07/22/18
He was fired after an encounter with a ‘racist’ customer. After sharing his story, Home Depot changed its mind.

He was fired after an encounter with a ‘racist’ customer. After sharing his story, Home Depot changed its mind.

After a man last Thursday approached the checkout at a Home Depot in Albany, New York, staff member Maurice Rucker asked him to leash his dog. That’s when the man exploded.Rucker, a 60-year-old black man, claimed he was fired Tuesday after defending ...
Published: 07/21/18
Open office plans are as bad as you thought

Open office plans are as bad as you thought

A cubicle-free workplace without private offices is supposed to force employees to collaborate. To have them talk more face-to-face. To get them off instant messenger and spontaneously brainstroming about new ideas.But a recent study by two researche...
Published: 07/21/18
Rays 2020 brings ‘road show’ to Sun City Center Chamber

Rays 2020 brings ‘road show’ to Sun City Center Chamber

SUN CITY CENTER — Business leaders and volunteers determined to help the Rays baseball team find a new stadium home in Ybor City are willing to go to every corner of Tampa Bay to raise awareness and support.Including Sun City Center.Tampa Bay Rays 20...
Published: 07/20/18
Updated: 07/22/18
Officials speak out against demolition plans for historic Jordan Park section

Officials speak out against demolition plans for historic Jordan Park section

ST. PETERSBURG — Pinellas County School board chair Rene Flowers was fired up Friday. She talked about growing up in Jordan Park, the city’s first public housing project and a sentimental and historic marker of St. Petersburg’s African-American commu...
Published: 07/20/18
Florida is still paying SunPass contractor, even after officials said they would stop

Florida is still paying SunPass contractor, even after officials said they would stop

Florida has not stopped paying the SunPass contractor responsible for the tolling system’s outage, even after transportation officials said the state would suspend all payments.In a letter on Monday, FDOT secretary Mike Dew said the state would not p...
Published: 07/20/18
Florida among the top 3 states with the most income inequality

Florida among the top 3 states with the most income inequality

Florida is one of three states in the nation with the biggest income gap between the very rich and everyone else.In 2015, a family in the top 1 percent nationally had an average income of more than $1.3 million — or 26.3 times as much as the $50,107 ...
Published: 07/20/18