Foreign buyers have been purchasing properties in Florida for years, but recently our market has seen a significant boom. A Naples real estate agent, has seen a boost in sales of 74% in the last year due to the weak dollar and low home prices. Mainly British and Canadian buyers are coming to The Sunshine State to purchase low priced, high quality housing. With the Euro reaching its peak at $1.58, usually $1.35-1.40, over the past few months have given the Europeans an edge over Americans when buying homes in a foreign market.
Even with financial woes plaguing economies across the world, Europeans have continued to buy. Last year many foreign buyers reported being on the fence, concerning investing in American soil, but now they are eager to buy and doing so. The National Association of Realtors found that a quarter of home sales are made here in Florida making it the most popular destination in the United States for international buyers. This year sales from foreign nationals have risen from 15%, in 2005, to 29%, with the Paradise Coast market consistently ranking among the top five in the state.
Reports for the foreign market are beginning to see a slump similar to ours. They too are experiencing a problem with mortgage lending and domestic housing. Similar to the United States, Europeans are seeing a hike in down payments of up to 25% more from last year, meaning they have to pay more up front. Supporting this fact is the National Association of Realtors, showing as recently as last year that more European buyers purchased their homes paying in cash. In fact, the 2008 report showed that ratio has been flipped, and local brokers say they see the same trend. It may seem as though the foreign market is starting to dry up, but as one Realtor state, “Florida still has a good climate, and Europe is still cold,” showing that there is still hope for the international market to continue to buy where the sun is always shining.