Low prices and the weakness of the dollar against some
foreign currencies continue to drive international buyers to the Tampa Bay real
estate market and other areas of the U.S. as well. These buyers feel that
prices are where they need to be in order to make profitable investment and
rentals are quite easy to fill in today’s market.
Most homes that are offered up for rent are gone within a
few weeks in most cases and in some just a matter of days. Increased difficulty
in getting a home loan and people who have fallen on hard times during this
economic down turn have created a huge demand for rental homes and investors
are cashing in on it.
According to the National Association of Realtors, the total
dollar amount of residential properties purchased by international buyers in
the U.S. over the past year totaled $82.5 billion, up from $66.4 billion in
2011. International sales were evenly split between non-resident foreigners and
Low housing prices and increased buying power with today’s
exchange rates help attract international clients.
The report says that while International buyers bought homes
throughout the country, four states accounted for 51 percent of the purchases –
Florida, California, Texas and Arizona. Florida has been the fastest growing
destination of choice, accounting for 26% of foreign purchases. California was
second with 11%.
This increase in buying activity has helped drive down the
inventory of homes for sale in Tampa Bay and is contributing to the rebound we are
According to the report, Florida attracts a diverse set of
international buyers including South Americans, Europeans and Canadians, while
Asian buyers tend to purchase on the West Coast, particularly California.
International buyers came from all over the world, but
Canada, China, Mexico, India and the United Kingdom accounted for 55% of all
international transactions, according to the survey. Canada and China remain
the fastest-growing home countries.
Forty-five percent of international purchases were under
Many homes purchased by foreign buyers are used as a primary
residence but Vacation and rental use are also major reasons for a purchase. 66% of survey respondents reported
international buyers purchased detached single-family homes
Sixty-two percent of international purchases were all cash,
which has increased since 2007.