In Miami roughly half of all foreign home buyers are from either Venezuela, Brazil, Argentina or more recently Columbia. According to stats from the Miami Association of Realtors, Colombia topped all foreign countries searching for South Florida real estate via the association’s portal in December 2015.

  • South American buyers are searching the most for South Florida real estate; however, brokers have noticed a slight pause in how actively they are buying.
  • A traditional hot spot for Venezuelan and Argentinian buyers, outside of the city of Miami has been Doral.
  • Buyers from Brazil, Argentina, Venezuela and Colombia accounted for 45 percent of all foreign buys in South Florida last year.

In Miami roughly half of all foreign home buyers are from either Venezuela, Brazil, Argentina or more recently Columbia.

According to stats from the Miami Association of Realtors, Colombia topped all foreign countries searching for South Florida real estate via the association’s portal in December 2015.

“The indicator of web traffic by country of origin usually foreshadows a boost in U.S. buying by those countries,” said Carlos Gutierrez, 2016 president of the association, estimating Columbia will jump up the list of top foreign buyers of U.S. housing this year.

Last year the nation accounted for 10 percent of all foreign Miami transactions, as did Argentina. These nations trailed Venezuela and Brazil, countries that accounted for 13 percent and 12 percent of all foreign Miami buyers.

The Brickell Avenue, Miami Beach and downtown Miami submarkets are the most attractive to Latin buyers, according to Chris Zoller, broker associate with EWM International. Another traditional hot spot for Venezuelan and Argentinian buyers has been Doral, which is considered to be the state’s fastest growing city.

Are South American buyers losing interest?

While South American buyers are searching the most for South Florida real estate, brokers have noticed a slight pause in how actively they are buying.

The reason: these buyers’ countries are suffering economically due to their own inflation compounded by the strengthening of the U.S. dollar.

Zoller noted he’s seeing a “lot less” foreign activity in Miami from South American countries. In their place has stepped North American buyers from California, New York and Canada. Additionally, while the Euro remains strong South Florida is also receiving interest from Western European buyers.

According to Realtor.com, the Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach metro ranked as the top market for international consumers in Western Europe and South America.

Of note, consumers from the Philippines and India are also searching more for South Florida real estate, as these countries ranked fifth and sixth on the association’s recent list.

Email Erik Pisor

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