Real Estate Monday: Foreign Buyers Love Florida

Foreign buyers find real estate in the Sunshine State a solid investment.

Foreign buyers find real estate in the Sunshine State a solid investment.

When it comes to real estate, foreign buyers are seeing the value in purchasing property in the United States.

And Florida is by far the most popular place for foreigners to invest.

Since 2007, the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) has conducted a yearly survey to measure the level of sales of U.S. residential real estate to international clients. The survey provides information about the origin, destination, and buying preferences of international clients as well as the challenges and opportunities faced by REALTORS® in the international market. The 2014 Profile of International Home Buying Activity presents the analysis of data gathered from REALTORS® on purchases of U.S. residential real estate by international clients made during the 12 months ending March 2014. There were 3,547 respondents to the survey, conducted from April 14 – May 14, 2014.

The term international client refers to two types of purchasers of properties.

  • Type A, Non-Resident Foreigners: Foreign clients with permanent residences outside the U.S. These clients typically purchase property for investments, vacations, or visits of less than six months to the U.S.
  • Type B, Resident Foreigners: Clients who are recent immigrants (in the country less than two years) or temporary visa holders residing for more than six months in the U.S. for professional, educational, or other reasons.

For the period April 2013 through March 2014, the total sales volume to international clients (“international sales”) has been estimated at approximately $92.2 billion, a 35 percent increase from the previous period’s level of $68.2 billion.

 The dollar level of international sales was roughly 7 percent of the total U.S. Existing Homes Sales (EHS) market of $ 1.2 trillion for the same period.

 Compared to the previous year, sales to foreigners increased both in numbers of transactions and in average price. Of total international transactions, approximately $45.5 billion were attributed to Type A non-resident foreigners; and approximately $46.7 billion were to Type B resident foreigners.

Florida again topped the nation as the state of choice among international real estate buyers, capturing 23 percent of sales transactions in the latest yearly report from the National Association of Realtors.

China led the way, accounting for $22 billion in purchases of U.S. real estate for the 12-month period, or 24 percent of total foreign sales, NAR said. A year earlier, Chinese purchases of U.S. real estate amounted to $12.8 billion, or 19 percent of total foreign sales.

“Foreign buyers are being enticed to U.S. real estate because of what they recognize as attractive prices, economic stability, and an incredible opportunity for investment in their future,” NAR president Steve Brown. co-owner of a Dayton, Ohio, brokerage, said in a statement.

 Among the Chinese, the favorite state remains California, which accounted for 35 percent of sales, followed by Washington (9 percent); New York (7 percent); Pennsylvania (6 percent); and Texas (6 percent.)

 In Florida, buyers from Asia accounted for just 8 percent of sales, while Latin Americans accounted for 26 percent of foreign purchases, and Europeans totaled 28 percent.

 However, Realtors say that Chinese buyers are showing increased interest in Florida and that they expect sales to increase in coming years as buyers flee an overheated Chinese market. Chinese investors are also being lured by EB-5 opportunities, in which they invest in projects in order to obtain citizenship. A majority of EB-5 projects have a real estate component, although mostly commercial such as hotels, restaurants and mixed use projects.

Chinese are also starting to show interest in high end condo’s and waterfront real estate, experts say.

 

 

Real Estate Monday: Florida Market Strong; Myeloma Awareness Month

Florida Real Estate Continues to Show Strength

Florida Real Estate Continues to Show Strength

It is a recipe for a great market: higher median prices, more new listings, fewer days on the market and a stable level of inventory— that’s what happening right now in Florida, according to stats released last week.

The statewide median sales price for single-family existing homes was $165,000 in February, up 10 percent from the year-ago period. And townhouse-condo properties in February had a statewide median sales price of $132,500, up 15.2 percent from a year-ago.

Compared to the rest of the nation, Florida prices seem a relative bargain.

The national median sales price for existing single-family homes in January, the most recent data available, was $188,900, up 10.4 percent from the previous year, and the national median existing condo price was $188,700, according to the National Association of Realtors.

 

There were 15,826 single-family home sales closed statewide last month, up 1.5 percent from the year-ago period. And new listings for single-family homes in the Sunshine State in February rose 11.6 percent year-over-year, while new townhouse-condo listings rose 4.2 percent.

 

Florida’s statewide townhome-condo sales totaled 7,578 last month, down 6.8 percent from February 2013. The closed sales data reflected fewer short sales last month: Short sales for condo-townhome properties fell 59.6 percent while short sales for single-family homes declined 51.9 percent, according to the Florida Association of Realtors

 

Inventory was at a 5.7-months’ supply last month for single-family homes and at a 6.1-months’ supply for townhouse-condo properties, according to the Florida Realtors.

 

“The majority of results for the residential market paint a picture of a normal growing market,” said Florida Realtors Chief Economist John Tuccillo. “The weaker results in sales for both single-family homes and townhouses and condos are solely the result of plummeting short sales. This is actually a good sign since short sales are falling because prices are rising, reducing the number of homes that fall into the potential short sales category.”

Myeloma Awareness Month

Last month, we ran into our good friend Ken Zeno.

Ken is a certified health and wellness coach and a volunteer for the  International Myeloma Foundation. He was also recently diagnosed with this blood cancer.

Ken asked us to raise awareness of this disease and remind people that March “Myeloma Awareness Month.”

 

Myeloma is the second most common blood cancer affecting 750,000 people worldwide, 100,000 in the United States and 20,000 newly diagnosed cases annually. The majority of patients have never heard of it. Multiple Myeloma is a type of cancer that is caused by malignant plasma cells that proliferate in the bone marrow and can lead to anemia, infections, bone lesions and fractures, vertebral compressions, osteoporosis, severe pain and kidney dysfunction. Since the news reports that Tom Brokaw has Myeloma, there is increasing interest about the disease.

 

When Ken first heard he had multiple myeloma, in October 2013, he was shocked. He had never heard of Myeloma nor did family or friends. He notes that he has always tried to live a life-long healthy lifestyle, especially since he opened one of the first natural foods markets in Massachusetts in 1970.  Myeloma symptoms can be easily dismissed or confused with other medical conditions and overlooked. In Ken’s case, he experienced extreme fatigue, kidney problems and arthritic-like pain in his joints. After three months of experiencing these symptoms, he saw a Nephrologist due to persistent increasing elevated creatinine levels in his blood. Ken underwent a Kidney biopsy and a subsequent Bone biopsy. The diagnosis of multiple myeloma was confirmed. Increased awareness about myeloma will help our local citizens and medical community recognize the symptoms sooner, leading to quicker diagnosis and treatment.

 

While there is no cure for multiple myeloma, there are many treatment options, including chemotherapy, radiation, stem cell transplantation and some novel and emerging therapies. Myeloma patients have a greater chance of survival today than years past due to increasing research in the efficacy of new drugs. For information on myeloma clinical trials see http://www.clinicaltrials.gov and type in “myeloma” in the search box. Ken is currently undergoing chemotherapy treatment to bring the disease into remission. He is also researching evidence-based complementary treatment modalities with a goal to integrate them into his current treatment plan with hopes of guidance from knowledgeable professional healthcare providers. An integrative approach to recovery exemplifies Ken’s perspective towards health & wellness as well as prevention and rehabilitation.

 

With the support of the International Myeloma Foundation, Ken is an active member of the Boca Raton/Delray Beach, FL Multiple Myeloma Support Group. The group brings together myeloma patients, caregivers and family members to share their experiences and success with treatments and outcomes, as well as coping with side effects and general Myeloma information and resources. Notable Myeloma specialists have been invited to present the latest evidence-based therapeutic approaches to successful remission.  The group meets the first Monday of the month at the Patch Reef Park Community Center. 2000 West Yamato Rd. in Boca Raton, FL (561-367-7035).

 

Because of the need to increase awareness, The International Myeloma Foundation (IMF) is designating “March as Myeloma Awareness Month”. The IMF fosters collaborative research, empowers people through education, provides support for patients and families and advocates for the healthcare needs of Myeloma patients. For information on the IMF call 1-800-452-2873 or www.myeloma.org

We wish Ken well and thank him for his advocacy and support.