British buyers have historically longed for the solace and sunshine in Florida. From 2005 to 2007 countless UK tour operators arranged housing holidays in Florida for British citizens. Second home expositions such as the wildly popular “A place in the Sun” is hosted twice a year in London and the Florida booths are always buzzing with public interest. These events further reinforce the UK buyer and investor interest in resort style locations and while the sunshine state boasts idyllic climate and sun drenched beaches, the allure of Disney World and surrounding attractions has cemented the Orlando Florida market as a top destination.
What types of homes do UK buyers purchase?
In 2011 thirty-nine percent (39%) of foreign buyers purchased a detached single-family home in the U.S as compared to fifty-one (51%) in 2010. In comparison, sixty-two percent (62%) of UK buyers purchased single-family homes and twenty-six percent (26%) selected condominiums.
How much do UK buyers spend on property in Florida?
Volatility in the U.S. housing market spawned by the troubled economy and foreclosures makes purchasing property in Florida an attractive option for foreign buyers. A majority of UK buyers spend up to $ 200,000 for a home in Florida. The median price purchased by UK buyers was $169,200 lower than the median of price of $174,700 noted for all other foreign buyers.
United Kingdom — Price of Homes Purchased
29% $99,999 or less
31% $100,000 or $199,999
12% $200,000 to $299,999
7% $300,000 to $399,999
7% $400,000 to $499,999
12% $500,000 to $749,999
0% $750,000 to $999,999
2% $1,000,000 or more
*Median Purchase Price $169,200
Do UK buyers purchase property in Florida as a rental investment?
While British buyers believe that purchasing property in Florida is a good investment, a significant number of owners intend to use this property as a vacation home for less than six months a year. While they do purchase with the possibility of renting their vacation home when not in use, at the onset they seek a home in Florida that they can enjoy with their friends and family.
United Kingdom — Intended Use of Home
17% Rental property for investment
33% Vacation home for family and friends
12% Retirement home
2% Don’t know
How do UK buyers’ purchasing trends fit into the U.S. market?
British buyers gravitate towards traditional second home and resort markets near major international airports. In Orlando, they seek condominiums in close proximity to Disney World and surrounding attractions. Condo-hotel or timeshares were appealing at one time based on low initial investment contributions yet these options have been replaced with a buyers’ desire for traditional real estate investments such as single family or condominiums, often regarded as safer options. In markets such as Naples and Miami, single family homes that offer golf, boating or beach lifestyle options receive top marks with British buyers.
Regardless of which Florida city UK buyers select, the majority purchase their real estate investments with cash funds. The volume of sales derived from these purchasers have helped to keep inventory levels in check in various markets throughout the Sunshine State.
United Kingdom — Financing the Home Purchase
93% All cash (no mortgage financing)
7% With mortgage financing
Source: NAR Florida International Survey. 08/2011
The complete survey by NAR is available by clicking here.