Despite low inventory, foreign buyers are still looking at the USA as a secure investment. Most buyers purchase for relocation, education, diversifying/protecting their assets, or simply for vacation and lifestyle.
International buyers have continued to concentrate on four states: Florida, California, Texas, and Arizona. These four states account for more than half of all international purchases. According to the National Association of Realtors, Canada, China, India, Mexico and the United Kingdom remain as the major sources of purchasers. Purchasers from Central and South Americas tend to favor Miami due to the ease of direct flights and its Latin flair. Canadians tend to focus on Florida and Arizona particularly due to the weather. Mexican purchasers tend to focus on Arizona and Texas, most likely because of its close proximity. Asian purchasers tend to migrate to California due to the ease of flights and culture.
So what about the Brazilians? In 2013, Brazilians accounted for 2% of all foreign sales in the United States. This is a small decrease in sales from 2011-2012 where purchases were 3%. The depreciation of the Real and economic conditions are potential reasons for the slight decline.
In general, Brazilians favor Florida and accounted for 6.5% of all international sales across the state in 2013 (down from 9.8% in 2012). While this may seems like a small number, it ranks them #3 in the state for foreign investment. The most popular area was Orlando followed by Miami (the top 2 destinations of all foreign buyers). Other areas of interest include Sarasota/Bradenton and Tampa/St. Petersburg, both on the Gulf Coast or west coast of the state.
Brazilians are typically spending more on real estate than other foreign countries (with Venezuela being the exception). While almost 50 percent of foreign purchasers bought property priced at $199,000 or less, Brazilians were spending between $ 300,000 -$450,000 according to Florida Realtors.
Financing has become easier to obtain over the past few years, and more Brazilians are leaning towards having a mortgage (18%) versus paying cash (82%)
While condominiums/apartments used to be the biggest preference, there is a growing this year for single family homes and even commercial properties.
Unlike many foreign buyers, Brazilians still prefer to be in cities versus suburban/rural areas or even resorts – but this is slowly changing as the appeal of communities that offer amenities (such as golf) become more popular. Unlike many foreign buyers, Brazilians are mostly using their homes solely for vacation and family with only about 11% purchasing just for pure investment or rental potential. One of the main reasons for this is that Brazilians tend to stay in the USA longer (anywhere from 3-6months) compared to other foreign owners.
There are many opportunities available for investment today – both in residential and commercial. With many cities having little inventory, developers of new construction are seeing an influx of Brazilian buyers. In fact, Brazilians are responsible for purchasing most of the excess condominium inventory in Miami over the past 5 years. Prices of residential properties have been seeing steady increases over the past year. Commercial investment is beginning to show a sign of improvement as the economy continues to get stronger and new businesses are opening.
When considering an investment, it is best to work with an agent who not only understands your objectives but knows there are other factors – currency exchange, potential immigration, tax consequences, and financing – that are critical to the process. Searching for a Certified International Property Specialist in the United States is your best option to help you achieve your goals and guide you comfortably and securely through the process of buying outside your home country.