November 3 marked the 20th anniversary for the Miami International Real Estate Congress, which drew over three hundred real estate agents and foreign professionals who focus on foreign markets, including 70 delegates from foreign countries.
The conference was a big success: speakers addressed hot-topic issues, industry experts shed light on current trends, and all attendees enjoyed a number of marketing sessions and gala receptions. But if there is one conclusion to draw from the event, it’s that the Miami-Dade and Broward real estate market is once again being heavily influenced by international real estate transactions.
These international deals actually comprise just under a third of all real estate transactions in the area. And that astounding number doesn’t even meet last year’s high of 35%. The foreign demand for Miami real estate is one of the most vibrant pieces of that market that has put Miami-Dade on track to break another record for residential sales this year.
Difficult economic conditions abroad have not stopped foreign buyers from spending big bucks in southern Florida. Florida home sales average $245,000 but international buyers spent an average of $444,052 on their Miami homes. Brazilians topped that international list with a mean payment of almost $500,000 per property, about two times the state’s average.
The tendency for foreigners to lean towards an upscale Miami market has made them an attractive target for realtors looking to cash in on a profitable trend. Alicia Cervera La Madrid, the managing partner of Miami’s Cervera Real Estate, explained, “We’re probably paying some of the highest commissions in the world — between 5 percent and 7 percent.”
Most of the real estate agents in the South Florida area either hail from a foreign country themselves or are at least multilingual and have a deep understanding of the language and culture of their clients. One of those cultural habits is the propensity toward cash purchases — a full 81% of foreign buyers in the area paid in cash, according to a recent NAR study.
Raanan Katz on Miami after the crash:
After the 2008 market crash, internationally-focused agents are palpably excited by this recent foreign interest in Miami soil. The assumption is that Miami is a great place for foreigners to invest their money, but only time will tell whether that trend will hold up in the coming years.