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Trump’s Travel Restrictions on Venezuela & Miami’s Real Estate Market

President Donald Trump on Sunday imposed new travel restrictions for his controversial travel ban. The signed proclamation extends the list of countries originally on the ban to eight including Venezuela, North Korea, and Chad. Iran, Libya, Syria, Yemen and Somalia were left on the list of affected countries, while restrictions on citizens of Sudan were lifted. Although the order bans most citizens from the countries listed, it only affects some Venezuelan government officials and their immediate family members from entering the U.S. Of those government officials affected include members of Venezuela’s interior ministry, justice department, foreign ministry, CIPIC criminal investigation unit and the SEBIN Bolivarian National Intelligence Service. According to the White House, Venezuela was added to the list because it “fails to share public-safety and terrorism-related information adequately” and has been “not fully cooperative” in receiving deportees. The new restrictions are set to take effect on October 18, 2017.

Why is a Venezuelan ban important to Miami’s real estate market?
Politics aside, how will the new restrictions on Venezuela affect the Miami Real Estate market? Although it is to early to predict the exact ramifications of this ban and its effects on Miami’s real estate, it is totally reasonable for sellers and investors to be curious, if not somewhat worrisome. Why? – Out of all the foreign countries that purchased South Florida real estate last year, Venezuelan homebuyers purchased the most homes. In fact, data provided by the Miami Association of Realtors reveals that Venezuelan buyers spent $868 million on residential properties in South Florida last year accounting for 15 percent of South Florida foreign purchases, and more specifically 18 percent of Miami-Dade foreign purchases. You can read more on the international interest of U.S. and Miami real estate from one of our previous blogs. The volatility in recent years affecting Venezuela through political chaos and social unrest has spurred much of the increased investments in Miami real estate from the country’s citizens, especially wealthier ones. Much of this can be seen in the cities of Doral and Weston where there is large communities of Venezuelan families. Time will only tell how this ban will affect real estate in Miami, but the fact that the travel ban only targets specific government officials in Venezuela suggests that the probability of major volatility in our local real estate markets is greatly reduced.