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International Interest of U.S. & Miami Real Estate 2017


Although the current strength of the U.S. dollar against most foreign currencies has made U.S. housing more expensive for foreign homebuyers and investors, purchases of U.S. residential real estate from international buyers spiked to its highest level ever in terms of number of homes sold and dollar volume. Foreign buyers closed on $153 billion worth of U.S. residential properties between April 2016 and March 2017. According to the National Association of Realtors, that’s a 49 percent jump from the period a year earlier and a new survey high from the previous record in 2015 ($103.9 billion). Half of all foreign sales were in just three states: Florida, California, and Texas.

Top Countries that Purchased Real Estate in the U.S.
(April 2016 – March 2017)

  1. China ($31.7 billion)
  2. Canada ($19.0 billion)
  3. United Kingdom ($9.5 billion)
  4. Mexico ($9.3 billion)
  5. India ($7.8 billion)

For the fourth straight year, Chinese buyers maintained their top position in sales dollar volume, spending the most on U.S. real estate. But the biggest overall surge in sales activity in the last year came from Canadian buyers, who bought more than $19 billion worth of properties, up from $8.9 billion in 2016. Canadian buyers retained their runner-up spot for U.S. residential real estate sales, and according to the 2017 National Association of Realtors’ International Activity in U.S. Residential Real Estate Report, Florida was the most popular choice among the buyer group. Despite a weaker Canadian dollar relative to the U.S. dollar, of the nearly $20 billion in U.S. real estate purchases, $7 billion was spent in Florida alone – most of which was primarily spent in South Florida.


According to NAR’s 2016 Profile International Residential Real Estate Activity in Florida, more than half of all international home sales in the entire state of Florida (52 percent) happen in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, and West Palm Beach. Although Canada recently has had a strong presence in terms of foreign residential real estate investment in Florida, primarily in Palm Beach and Martin county, foreign real estate transactions in Miami-Dade County are still dominated by Latin American countries.

Miami is the most international city in the U.S. with approximately 51.3% of Miami residents being foreign born. Miami’s concentration of foreign born residents is more than 2.5 times the national average of 19.4 percent, according to the U.S. Census. Our close proximity and easy access to Latin America provides an ideal multicultural environment suitable for Miami’s long time relationship with Latin American investors and homebuyers seeking a secure place to invest their money and place to live with their families – not to mention the affordability compared to other cities like NYC. For many international buyers, Miami provides the value of a financial safe-haven (something that is not seen in their respective homelands), and although we have seen a dip in high-end luxury real estate buyers from Latin American countries due to plummeting exchange rates; countries like Venezuela, Argentina, Brazil, and Colombia still remain the top foreign consumers of Miami Real Estate despite the rising costs.

Top Countries Investing in South Florida

Miami-Dade, Broward. Palm Beach & Martin counties
(% of South Florida Foreign Purchases)

  1. Venezuela (15%)
  2. Argentina (11%)
  3. Brazil (10%)
  4. Colombia (10%)
  5. Canada (6%)

Top Countries Investing in Miami-Dade County
(% of Miami-Dade Foreign Purchases)

  1. Venezuela (18%)
  2. Brazil (15%)
  3. Argentina (14%)
  4. Colombia (8%)
  5. Italy, Mexico, & Canada (4% each)

The Monica Betancourt Group, “MBG”, is a group with members who are fluent in not only several languages but also fluent in several different cultures. This fluency gives us a deep understanding of the expectations of both local and foreign buyers and investors.

Why MBG? We are a group that works as one 24/7. When one member lists a property or works with buyers, their individual work is augmented by the expertise and collective efforts of the group.

We understand. Our group understands Miami, and more importantly, we understand the wants and needs of international prospect customers. Many of us have lived abroad and have benefitted from the networks and connections formed as ex pats. These ties are just part of our international reach. We go the distance.

MBG knows that many prospect customers may live on the other side of the world. To successfully close business with these foreign customers we are ready to go the distance… literally. We have direct ties in Hong Kong and Latin America, and make a point to travel abroad to sell Miami to the world.

Most Real Estate firms will tell you that they are experts in the Miami area…and so are we. However, there is a difference between us and other firms. We know what international buyers look for and what international investors want. Our cultural diversity gives us an understanding that is much deeper than that of other agents. From Latin America through Europe to Asia, we will bring the Buyers to Miami or bring Miami to the Buyers around the world.