Over the past several years, Florida has been outselling all other U.S. states in the international real estate market. Both the National Association of Realtors and Trulia have released their studies on sales of homes to international buyers, affirming the global market strength of Florida homes.
Of the estimated $41 billion spent by international home buyers in 2010, about $13 billion were spent for residential properties located in Florida. Of the top 24 cities favored by foreign home buyers, ten cities are in Florida.
Why is Florida outselling other international favorites like California, New York and Texas in the global market? Here are the top eight reasons:
1. Tourist dollars. Florida homes have greater income prospects as vacation homes, second homes or rental units, as Florida has been one of the top U.S. tourist destination over the years.
2. Friendliness to foreigners. International buyers believe that Floridians are friendlier and more open towards foreigners and new immigrants, as relayed to them by their friends and relatives who have migrated to Florida long before them.
3. Waterfront homes. Lakeside and beachfront homes abound in Florida as it has about 7,700 lakes larger than ten acres, including Lake Okeechobee which is the second biggest freshwater in the U.S. Its coastline also reaches 1,197 statute miles, with 663 miles of these in beautiful stretches of soft white sand.
4. Personal tax advantages. Florida residents do not pay state income tax. They also enjoy homestead exemptions and the Save Our Homes program which limits increase Homestead Florida homes for sale rates on property assessments.
5. Business tax advantages. The state offers tax incentives to businesses that create jobs or help underserved communities, in addition to the relatively low state corporate income tax.
6. No brutally cold winters. Florida’s balmy weather, mild winters and about 300 days of sunshine are attractive to retirees and people who like to escape the dark winters in the northern states.
7. Huge price discounts. Homes in Florida have experienced among the biggest price reductions owing to huge price jumps during the boom times. These relatively low prices enable foreign buyers to pay in cash and investors to buy more homes.
8. Foreign exchange. This exchange factor has helped buyers in all U.S. states, allowing foreigners to get more dollars for their money, compared to what they can get before the housing meltdown.
Of the ten Florida cities preferred by foreign buyers, Tampa is among them. Tampa is a city desired for its small-town vibe in an urban setting, possessing the unique interplay of beaches, lakes, rivers, nature parks, arts museums, golf courses, and man-made theme parks.
The top nationalities acquiring Florida homes are Canadians, Europeans and Brazilians. Nationally also, the Canadians are the top buyers, followed by the British, Australians, French and Germans. With Florida’s improving economy, it is hoped that Florida maintains its top ranking in the global real estate market.