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ORLANDO, Fla. – Sept. 8, 2014 – U.S. real estate appeals to foreign buyers, and a large number of them settled on property in Florida – about 25 percent of all international U.S. home purchases to foreign buyers, according to the 2014 report "Profile of International Home Buyers in Florida."
In the 12 months that ended in June 2014, the dollar value of purchases in Florida hit $7.97 billion – a 24 percent increase over the amount spent ($6.43 billion) the year before. About one in 10 property purchases (10 percent) in the state (26,500) involved a foreign buyer, an increase from 9 percent the year before.
Two major trends drove the increase in foreign buyers: A continuing recovery of the world's economy and the affordability of U.S. properties.
U.S. and Florida residential prices remain affordable to most international homebuyers, and they buy property that, overall, costs more than the mean price paid by domestic buyers. In Florida, 76 percent of all Realtors cited less expensive property as a top reason for purchase.
Canadian buyers accounted for the largest share of international clients (32 percent), followed by:
• Western Europe: 24 percent; primarily from the United Kingdom, France and Germany
• Latin America/Caribbean: 23 percent: primarily from Brazil and Venezuela
• Asia: 10 percent; primarily from China
Sales to non-resident international clients as percent of international sales:
• Orlando-Kissimmee: 11 percent
• Tampa-St. Petersburg- Clearwater: 11 percent
• Miami-Miami Beach: 10 percent
• Bradenton-Sarasota-Venice: 8 percent
• Fort Lauderdale: 8 percent
Other key findings:
• 52 percent of Florida Realtors reported international clients (national average: 28 percent)
• 19 percent of Florida Realtors with international clients reported 6 or more clients (national average: 12 percent)
• 20 percent with international clients said they accounted for 26 percent or more of their transactions (national average: 15 percent)
• 29 percent reported that their percentage of international clients increased in the last five years (national average: 20 percent)
Realtors dealing with international clients say the key to success is understanding the culture, concerns and language of potential foreign clients; reaching out through personal contacts and online tools; and assisting potential foreign buyers through the regulatory and financial process, especially for agents on the buy-side of the transaction.
According to the survey, Realtors also said that relaxing current visa restrictions on a length of stay would attract additional international clients.
© 2014 Florida Realtors®
WASHINGTON – July 9, 2014 – Favorable exchange rates, affordable home prices and rising affluence abroad continue to drive international buyers to the U.S. to purchase properties and make real estate investments.
According to the National Association of Realtors® 2014 Profile of International Home Buying Activity, for the period April 2013 through March 2014, total international sales have been estimated at $92.2 billion, an increase from the previous period's level of $68.2 billion.
"We live in an international marketplace; so while all real estate is local, that does not mean that all property buyers are," said NAR President Steve Brown. "Foreign buyers are being enticed to U.S. real estate because of what they recognize as attractive prices, economic stability, and an incredible opportunity for investment in their future."
International buyers and recent immigrants purchased homes throughout the country, but four states accounted for 55 percent of the total reported purchases – Florida, California, Arizona, and Texas. Florida remains the destination of choice, claiming a 23 percent share of all foreign purchases. California comes in second with 14 percent, Texas with 12 percent and Arizona with 6 percent. According to realtor.com®, the top five cities searched online by international buyers in 2014 were Los Angeles, Miami, Las Vegas, Orlando and New York City.
Foreign buyers take many factors into consideration when deciding where to purchase abroad, such as proximity to their home country, the presence of relatives and friends, job and educational opportunities, and climate and location.
European buyers are generally attracted to states with warmer climates such as Florida and Arizona while the West Coast tends to attract Asian purchasers. Indian buyers tend to gravitate towards states that are home to large information technology companies, such as California, New York and North Carolina. Within markets in an individual state, it is not unusual to find concentrations of people grouped by nationality, possibly indicating that word-of-mouth and shared experiences influence purchases.
Twenty-eight percent of Realtors® reported working with international clients this year. International sales tend to be handled by specialists and only 4 percent of those who reported having an international client saw 11 or more international transactions in a year. Of those who reported having an international client, approximately 54 percent reported that international transactions accounted for 1 to 10 percent of their total transactions, a decrease from 2013 but still in line with past years' levels.
International buyers are more likely to make all-cash purchases when compared to domestic buyers. In 2014, nearly 60 percent of reported international transactions were all cash, compared to only one-third of domestic purchases. Mortgage financing tends to be a major problem for international clients due to a lack of a U.S. based credit history, lack of a Social Security number, difficulties in documenting mortgage requirements and financial profiles that differ from those normally received by financial institutions from domestic residents.
Most homes purchased by foreign buyers, about 42 percent, are used as a primary residence. Non-resident foreigners are limited to 6-month stays in the U.S., so these buyers largely use the property for vacation or rental purposes or as an investment. Approximately 65 percent of purchases involved a single-family home. Nearly half of international clients preferred properties in a suburban area, about a quarter preferred a central city or urban area, and about 13 percent choose to purchase in a resort area.
International buyers come from all over the world, but Canada, China (The People's Republic of China, Hong Kong and Taiwan), Mexico, India and the U.K. accounted for approximately 54 percent of all reported international transactions.
Canada maintained the largest share of purchases, dropping from 23 percent in 2013 to 19 percent in 2014; however, China held the lead in dollar volume, purchasing an estimated $22 billion with an average sale cost of $590,826. China was also the fastest growing source of transactions, now accounting for 16 percent of all purchases, up 4 percent from last year. Mexico ranked third with 9 percent of sales and India and the U.K. both accounted for 5 percent.
"Foreign buyers who choose to work with a Realtor® have a substantial advantage," said Brown. "Realtors® who have completed the Certified International Property Specialist designation have received specialized training and are prepared to help clients with the unique difficulties of being an international buyer. CIPS designees understand the challenges buyers face when purchasing property in the U.S., and have the experience and expertise to help them navigate the complex, time-consuming and overwhelming world of international real estate."
© 2014 Florida Realtors®
CHICAGO – July 10, 2014 – Despite some Americans feeling they could buy or sell on their own, the majority still turn to a real estate agent in the end, according to a new survey by BMO Harris Bank.
Three-quarters of U.S. homeowners have used a real estate agent, the survey found. But nearly half (47 percent) of Americans polled were confident they could sell a home without the help of a real estate agent, and 59 percent said they felt they could purchase a home without one.
"However, while a notable number of Americans feel they could buy or sell a home without a real estate agent, our survey tells us that when the time came, the majority of homeowners did seek the added professional help and enlisted an agent," said Kevin Christopher, head of mortgage sales, BMO Harris Bank. "It can be a complex process, and one that takes up a great deal of time."
Word-of-mouth is the top way that homebuyers select an agent (41 percent), followed by:
The survey also asked Americans about where they felt real estate professionals had the most value-add. The top three benefits for having an agent when buying are handling paperwork (67 percent), having someone who understands market value (59 percent) and access to market information (53 percent).
The top three benefits when selling are again paperwork (64 percent), advertising the home to bring in offers (58 percent) and having someone to price the home appropriately (57 percent).
"Although higher home prices and mortgage rates have dented housing affordability, it remains historically very attractive. This, in turn, continues to support the demand for homes, along with rising household formation," said Michael Gregory, head of U.S. economics, BMO Capital Markets. "Despite the overall U.S. housing activity losing some of the momentum we saw earlier in the recovery, recent solid job growth should help reinvigorate the housing market."
Survey results cited in this report are from a Pollara survey commissioned by BMO Harris Bank using interviews with an online sample of 2,500 Americans conducted between April 1st and 7th, 2014.
© 2014 Florida Realtors®
IRVINE, Calif. – July 3, 2014 – RealtyTrac's Q2 2014 Residential Property Rental Report ranks the best markets for buying residential rental properties, and it focused on the top investment areas for baby boomer and millennial renter demand.
For the report, RealtyTrac analyzed median sales prices for residential property and average fair market rents for three bedroom properties in 370 U.S. counties – an area that included 60 percent of the total U.S. population. Rental returns were calculated using annual gross rental yields: the average fair market rent of three-bedroom homes in the county, annualized, and divided by the median sales price of residential properties in the county.
The analysis found that investors buying U.S. residential rental property in the second quarter of 2014 are getting an average annual return of 9.97 percent, down from an average annual return of 10.60 percent a year ago.
Overall, Florida dominated the market for baby boomer rentals. North Carolina and Arizona each had two counties on the list, while the remaining states only had one.
Median home prices increased more than 7 percent on average in the second quarter of 2014 compared to a year earlier, while average fair market rents for three-bedroom homes increased an average of less than 1 percent.
"Home prices have increased at a faster pace than fair market rents in most counties over the past year, eroding the average returns available to investors buying rental properties," says Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac. "Even so, an average annual return of nearly 10 percent across all the counties we analyzed nationwide is still solid, and investors holding on to rental property for the long term will also typically benefit from home price appreciation on top of the annual returns from rental income.
Top Florida markets for renting to baby boomers
1. Pasco County: 27% of residents are boomers; 11.7% six-year increase
2. Hernando County: 28.6% of residents are boomers; 24.7% six-year increase
3. Marion County: 28.2% of residents are boomers; 24.8% six-year increase
4. Citrus County: 32.1% of residents are boomers; 28% six-year increase
5. Polk County: 24.9% of residents are boomers; 13.3% six-year increase
6. Brevard County: 29.8% of residents are boomers; 10.7% six-year increase
7. St. Lucie County: 26.6% of residents are boomers; 23.5% six-year increase
8. Volusia County: 29.1% of residents are boomers; 11.8% six-year increase
9. Charlotte County: 32.9% of residents are boomers; 34.3% six-year increase
10. Lake County: 27% of residents are boomers; 26.5% six-year increase
13. Manatee County: 28% of residents are boomers; 20.8% six-year increase
14. Sarasota County: 30.4% of residents are boomers; 23.2% six-year increase
15. Indian River County: 29% of residents are boomers; 24.8% six-year increase
16. Martin County: 29.5% of residents are boomers; 20.4% six-year increase
17. Collier County: 28.1% of residents are boomers; 27.6% six-year increase
21. Collier County: 26.8% of residents are boomers; 24.3% six-year increase
"Investors leveraging demographic trends will often be able to amplify rental returns and home price appreciation, particularly when it comes to trends in the baby boomer and millennial generations, which combined account for approximately 147 million people – more than 60 percent of the U.S. adult population," Blomquist says. "Many individuals in both of those demographic groups are in the midst of major life changes that will often involve changes in housing, something that smart real estate investors should take into consideration when deciding when and where to buy or sell."
Top Florida markets for renting to millennials
3. Duval County: 24.7% of residents are millennials; 19.2% six-year increase
7. Hillsborough County: 24% of residents are millennials; 16.7% six-year increase
10. Osceola County: 24.5% of residents are millennials; 12.9% six-year increase
13. Orange County: 27.7% of residents are millennials; 30.3% six-year increase
Top overall Florida markets for real estate rental investing
4. Alachua County: Gross rental yield: 12.02%
© 2014 Florida Realtors®
NEW YORK – April 23, 2014 – Despite weak underlying consumer momentum this spring, U.S. housing should improve later in 2014 due to faster economic growth, according to Fitch Ratings in the latest edition of the "Chalk Line."
"Comparisons have been a challenge so far this year, with most housing metrics falling short of expectations from a year ago," said Robert Curran, managing director and lead homebuilding analyst for Fitch Ratings. "Though the severe winter throughout much of North America has restrained some housing activity, buyer sensitivity to home prices and finance rates and the slowing of job growth at year-end is resulting in diminished consumer momentum."
That said, Fitch expects stable ratings for most issuers within the homebuilding sector in 2014, reflecting a continued, moderate cyclical improvement in overall construction activity as the year progresses. There is even potential for a few upgrades among some homebuilders.
Housing should improve in 2014 due to faster economic growth and some acceleration in job growth, despite somewhat higher interest rates, as well as more measured home price inflation.
However, Fitch is tapering its year-end forecast to reflect a subpar spring selling season. Single-family starts are now projected to improve 15 percent to 710,000 as multifamily volume grows about 9 percent to 335,000.
Overall, Fitch predicts that total starts this year should top one million. Fitch projects new home sales will increase about 16 percent to 500,000 and existing home sales to remain flat at 5.10 million. This is largely due to fewer distressed homes for sale. New home price inflation should moderate in 2014, at least partially because of higher interest rates. Average and median new home prices should rise about 3.5 percent in 2014.
© 2014 Florida Realtors®
Port Charlotte is centrally located between Fort Myers and Sarasota. Major airports, RSW and SRQ, are within a one hour drive. You can find affordable waterfront property in Charlotte County. Enjoy the beauty of Charlotte Harbor.
Southwest Florida offers some of the best beaches, not only located in Florida, but throughout the U.S. and ranked among the Top 10 beaches in the United States by a poll taken by National Geographic Traveler magazine and Yahoo! Travel.
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Discover why Port Charlotte, Punta Gorda, Englewood are among Florida's most desireable communities. Named as best places to live, best place to retire, best golf, best sailing, the list of accolades goes on and on.
U.S. News & World Report rates Punta Gorda Florida as - 2008 Best Healthy Places to Retire: Punta Gorda, Florida
CNN Money Magazine, Forbes, MSN, Sperling's Best Places, SAIL Magazine, Golf Digest, Florida Trend, Milken Institute, Men's Journal, Inc. Magazine, Business Development Outlook Magazine, Bizjournals.com
America's Best Places to Live - Best Small Town - Best Boating 10 Greatest Places to Sail - Best Golf - Best Small Places For Business in 2006 - Best Performing Cities 2005 - Small Town Gem in Florida
Punta Gorda FL does it again! 2/2007 Ranked #2 America's 10 hottest retirement areas
2009 - Port Charlotte rated by CNN/Money Best Places to Retire
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© 2013 Florida Realtors® Reprinted with permission. Florida Realtors®. All rights reserved
© 2012 Florida Realtors®Reprinted with permission. Florida Realtors®. All rights reserved
© 2012 Florida Realtors®
Reprinted with permission. Florida Realtors®. All rights reserved
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