The real estate market in South Florida has been booming, and foreign investors have been credited with fueling the fire. However a new trend shows a turn in the tide as some international buyers back off, leaving room for those stateside to swoop in. According to a recent article from The Real Deal, Russian investors in particular are disappearing from the scene, and a group of brokers discussed the occurrence at the real estate news source’s Annual Real Estate Forum and Showcase. Craig Studnicky, principal of International Sales Group claims that “right around the time the United States imposed economic sanctions on Russia over its actions in the Ukraine, Russian sales dropped off the cliff.” After the sanctions were imposed, the Russian stock market dropped 25%, freezing the assets of many investors, easily explaining the lack of interest in Miami properties.
At the same time, South Florida is attracting domestic investors, particularly from New York and Los Angeles, as well as continued support from South American buyers. Nelson Gonzalez, a senior vice president wit EWM Realtors who specialize in ultra-luxury homes, says that these domestic buyers are fueling the demand for new mansions in Miami Beach. He further explains that because of the favorable tax set up in Florida, “they can spend $20 million on a house because they are making $30 million a year. The house practically pays for itself and they get to live in paradise.” And with the addition of a strong financial business district, big city hedge fund managers are looking to relocate their businesses to the area, also to take advantage of Florida’s tax status.
In addition to the latest players in the luxury real estate market, Jay Parker, chief executive of Douglas Elliman Florida, believes that we will see an influx of Chinese buyers in the coming year. The interest from Chinese investors is expected on the heels of the Panama Canal expansion set to open next year and expected to increase trade from China to Port Miami. Becoming a trade hub, with new ships coming from Asia, will only bolster the currently bustling real estate boom in Miami and surrounding areas, leaving many industry experts feeling optimistic about the future.