Great Time to Buy Real Estate in Florida

24 04 2008

I read an article in USA Today that points out more foreign buyers vie for U.S. real estate. As the falling dollar makes the U.S. second-home market more attractive to international buyers, we see more and more foreign buyers express their interests in investing in Florida’s real estate market. Fifteen percent of all Florida home sales now involve foreign buyers. Now is the best time to buy real estate in Florida.

More than 100,000 homes are sold to foreigners annually in the international second-home market, particularly to buyers from Europe, North and South America, Africa and the Middle East. Current valuations of the U.S. dollar against foreign currencies have made U.S. property one of the world’s great bargains, and the prestige of owning U.S. property remains high.

Real estate agents are increasingly courting foreigners to buy homes in the USA – hiring agents fluent in other languages, marketing to foreign buyers and in some cases, offering to pay the airfare and hotel bills of foreign shoppers who buy a home.

The agents are eager to win the business of foreign investors who are swooping in to buy property in the USA as home prices plummet and the dollar’s weak value produces eye-popping deals for international buyers.

Because of the sinking value of the U.S. dollar relative to other currencies, a home bought by a foreigner comes with a discount averaging 30 percent, the National Association of Realtors estimates. Between April 2006 and April 2007, about 30 percent of foreign buyers came from Europe, according to an NAR survey.

Nearly one-third of Realtors reported in that survey that they had done business with foreign buyers. Activity is especially busy in affluent cities such as New York and in warm-weather vacation destinations such as Miami and San Diego. Many of these investors, Realtors say, are buying homes as vacation retreats.

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