Sunday, 11 December 2011

Canadian Investment in Florida Surges

Thinking of investing in Florida ? You are not alone. According to the National Association of Realtors fully 25% of all Florida Real Estate sold in the 12 months ended June 2011 was sold to non-residents of the U.S. Non-resident sales totalled $ USD 12.7 Billon. Of these Canadians comprise the largest portion and account for 39% of the non-resident market.
Among Canadians cash is king. While Canadians have a distinct advantage over nationals of other countries in obtaining financing, a higher percentage (91%) of sales were all cash vs. sales to other non U.S. nationals (87% all cash).
While vacation home users still account for the largest share (40%) of the market, down from 50% the year before. Investors are taking an increasing prevalence however and now account for 23% of the market. An article by Florida Realtors on Oct 17th of 2011 however cites increasing rents and other factors in estimating the investor market as high as 40% of all home sales.
Experience bears out the strength of the rental market: In some condos rents are up 10% over August,2011 for the identical unit. Look for well over 1% of purchase price for monthly rent in quality downtown buildings. 1.5 % is not unusual.
Another factor favouring investment is solid price gains through the first half of 2011 after what appears to be a bottom at the turn of the new year. Since that time median condo price is up 21% in each of Tampa and Orlando and 27% in Miami.  The suburban markets we monitor have latterly however given up most of their earlier gains.
Statistically non-resident sales are typically at higher prices than those to U.S. residents. While the report attributes this to the type of property being purchased it is also possible that non-residents tend to pay more for the same properties. Many non-residents are reticent to participate in the distressed sale market which is seen as more labour and risk intensive. According to RealtyTrac however, in 2011 to date the average bank sale sold at a price 38% below comparable properties (presumably absent distress). Short sales pose equal opportunity for those with experience and the proper strategy.
Whether for investment or vacation however, many believe we have past the bottom. Canadian ownership in Florida has never been stronger. For a copy of the NAR or other reports referred to please contact the writer.
Source: Profile of International Home Buyers in Florida, National Association of Realtors Research Division, August 2011

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