On May 8, Gov. Ron DeSantis signed Senate Bill 264. The new law restricts real estate purchases in the state by citizens of China, Russia, Iran, North Korea, Cuba, Venezuela and Syria.

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A new Florida law restricts real estate purchases in the state by citizens of China, Russia, Iran, North Korea, Cuba, Venezuela and Syria with a particular emphasis on prohibitions against Chinese nationals.

On May 8, Gov. Ron DeSantis signed Senate Bill 264, which bans the direct or indirect ownership of some types of real estate by individuals, companies and government officials from the above nations deemed “foreign countries of concern.”

“Florida is taking action to stand against the United States’ greatest geopolitical threat — the Chinese Communist Party,” DeSantis said in an announcement.

With limited exceptions, the law prohibits all direct or indirect ownership of property on or within five miles of a military installation, according to legal news outlet JD Supra. Outside five miles of a military installation but on or within 10 miles of either a military installation or a critical infrastructure facility, citizens from these countries holding a valid non-tourist visa or being granted asylum may own one residential property up to two acres in size.

Outside 10 miles of any military installation and any critical infrastructure facility, the new law bans direct or indirect ownership of agricultural land (with limited exceptions), but citizens from these countries can buy any other type of property, according to JD Supra.

“Food security is national security, and we have a responsibility to ensure Floridians have access to a safe, affordable, and abundant food supply,” said Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Wilton Simpson in a statement.

“China and other hostile foreign nations control hundreds of thousands of acres of critical agricultural lands in the U.S., leaving our food supply and our national security interests at risk.

“Restricting China and other hostile foreign nations from controlling Florida’s agricultural land and lands near critical infrastructure facilities protects our state, provides long-term stability, and preserves our economic freedom.”

According to Florida Realtors’ 2022 Profile of International Residential Transactions in Florida, released in April, none of the countries named in the new law are top sources of international buyers for the state. Buyers from Canada, Colombia, Argentina, Brazil and Peru accounted for nearly half of sales to foreign buyers in the state between August 2021 and July 2022.

Only 7 percent of international buyers came from Asia and Oceania.

Email Andrea V. Brambila.

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homebuying | realtors
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