Study: International sales important to Florida

October 1, 2013

ORLANDO, Fla. – Sept. 30, 2013 – A study done by the National Association of Realtors® (NAR) in cooperation with Florida Realtors found that international real estate deals made up 8 percent of all Fla. existing homes sales over a one-year period that ended in July 2013.

By dollar volume, international real estate transactions made up 9 percent of sales over the same period.

The numbers come from an annual study conducted by NAR, the 2013 Profile of International Home Buyers in Florida.  A total of 977 Realtors responded to this year’s survey conducted July 9-Aug. 16, 2013. For the report, foreign buyers were defined as non-resident foreigners – individuals who purchase property in the U.S. but live in the U.S. only part of the year – and who typically using the property as a rental unit, vacation unit or both.

For the 12 months ended July 2013, existing home sales in Florida – single-family homes, townhomes and condos – accounted for 327,350 transactions worth $74 billion dollars. Of that total, there were 22,572 transactions worth $6.4 billion dollars to foreigners.

By dollar volume, the international market made up 9 percent of total sales in Florida for the 12 months ended July 2013 and, on a rolling basis, about 8 percent of the total number of transactions.

Prices paid by non-resident foreign buyers tend to be higher than domestic buyers, though overall, international sales have been down due to the worldwide recessions, according to NAR.

Key survey points

• Two in three (63 percent) of Realtors in Florida have international clients, compared to the national average of 27 percent.

• Of the Realtors who have international clients, 33 percent (one in five state Realtors) said that international transactions made up 26 percent or more of their business compared to 12 percent of Realtors nationally.

• 80 percent of surveyed Realtors said that international clients found Florida property less expensive than similar property in their home country. Overall, foreign buyers say the U.S. residential housing market provides a good value.

• 31 percent of respondents say Florida’s percentage of international clients has increased in the last five years, compared to 21 percent at the national level.

• Canadians lead the way (30 percent of total Florida international sales) as the largest source of buyers, followed by Venezuela (8 percent), Brazil (7 percent), and the U.K. (6 percent).

• International buyers focused most of their effort in Miami-Miami Beach (21 percent of international sales in Florida), Orlando-Kissimmee (14 percent) and Fort Lauderdale (9 percent).

• International buyers paid a median price of $216,477 for a home unit in Florida compared to the state’s overall median price of $144,074, and the U.S. median price of $187,483. In general, buyers from Brazil, Venezuela and Western Europe purchased above the median price.

• 84 percent of international transactions are cash sales.

• International buyers had a preference for detached single-family homes (47 percent of Florida foreign sales), followed by townhouses (11 percent) and condominiums (34 percent).

The complete survey is available on the research page of Florida Realtors’ website.

© 2013 Florida Realtors®

Study: International sales important to Florida.


Dutch TRC combines business and pleasure in Florida

August 28, 2013

Erik Noordam operates his real estate business from two countries: the Netherlands and the USA; more specifically Amsterdam and Florida. A native of Holland, Erik spent time in Florida as a child with his parents. While vacationing there in 2006 with his wife, Erik was inspired to set up a transcontinental business.

Florida Living logoErik Noordam, owner of Noordam Management B.V. in Amsterdam, has very close business ties to Florida, including maintaining a Florida real estate license and membership in the US National Association of Realtors®. Erik’s ties to Florida may be long distance, but they are an integral part of his business and go back many years. In the 1970s Erik’s parents bought a condo in Marco Island where his family spent holidays. Erik’s wife, Judith, who shares his love of Florida, also traveled frequently with her parents to Miami as a child.

While on vacation in Florida in 2006 Erik and Judith (pictured right) met a project developer who asked the couple to market a new development in Europe. While the project never was built, it spurred the idea for an international networking and marketing initiative to market Florida properties to Dutch buyers. The ideaErik and Judith Noordam evolved into Florida Living, which provides professional services to Dutch buyers seeking Florida real estate for personal and/or investment purposes.

Erik came to international real estate with a strong business background. He had been active in international business and trade for about 15 year when he took an assignment as a director for a group of real estate companies in the Netherlands dealiing with commercial real estate investors and property management. The combination of international and real estate was perfect combination. He is aided by language skills that include English, German and Spanish. “The Netherlands is a small but internationally focused country, so we must speak other languages,” says Erik.

While the international brokerage component of Noordam Management is relatively small in the big picture, Erik says it’s “fun to do and rewarding to help investors and buyers with their international acquisitions.” Erik works directly with investors, although Florida Living has mostly Dutch clients looking for residential properties for use as a second or holiday home. With Florida Living, he works exclusively as a buyer broker and international real estate advisor. The organization works on referral business and co-brokerage, and also markets new homes.

The business isn’t all one direction, however. He also works with international investors and Dutch expats looking to buy or rent residential accommodations in Holland. “Our investor clients come primarily from North America and Western Europe, although we’re seeing increased business from Asia,” says Erik.

An Orlando broker holds Erik’s Florida real estate license and manages the Florida-based team. Erik manages the real estate team in the Netherlands and organizes project teams for all international transactions for his Dutch clients. He typically travels to Florida several times a year and will be attending the MIAMI International Real Estate Congress in November.

It was during one of these visits in 2010 that Erik completed the TRC course, offered by the MIAMI Association of Realtors®. “Having a TRC shows you have an interest in dealing with international clients, so I recommend taking the course and network if you want to deal with foreign clients,” says Erik. “However, you must actively participate in the network in order to get business.” Erik has used the TRC network to connect with Florida brokers–one of whom regularly travels to Amsterdam and receives referral business from Erik. “As a TRC, I can trust him for taking care of my client in a professional manner.”

Erik reports that while he’s pleased to report that he has never had a referral issue that would have required arbitration, he uses the TRC referral form. “It has value for the referring agent, if needed.” In Holland, Erik is affiliated with the Amsterdam real estate brokers association (MVA), the local chapter of the Dutch association of real estate brokers and experts (NVM).

“It’s great to be working in an international setting,” says Erik. Both my wife and I have a passion for the Sunshine State and isn’t it great to combine work with pleasure when in Florida?” Yes it is, Erik.

Find Erik at WorldProperties.com under or visit his LinkedIn page.


Investor predicts buy-to-rent market will expand

August 8, 2013

NEW YORK – Aug. 6, 2013 – According to a report by Morgan Stanley, the buy-to-rent market is only a fraction of where it could be, and the market is ready for major growth in the coming years.

Morgan Stanley analysts predict that the buy-to-rent market will grow from $17 billion today to more than $100 billion in the next several years. They called it a “sustainable business with a long runway for growth.”

According to analysts, institutional investors may be able to anticipate a more than 10 percent return on investments, as rents nationwide continue to rise.

“Over the past three years, investor activity has removed significant amounts of distressed supply from Southern California, Phoenix and Las Vegas,” according to the report. “Consequently, select MSAs in Florida, the Midwest and the Northeast now constitute a greater proportion of the nation’s distressed properties, making them potentially more attractive to institutional buy-to-rent investors.”

Source: “Morgan Stanley predicts buy-to-rent boom,” HousingWire (July 31, 2013)

© Copyright 2013 INFORMATION, INC. Bethesda, MD (301) 215-4688


Tips to Being a Successful Landlord

February 25, 2013

The ultimate goal of investing in rental property is turn a profit. To make sure that you achieve that goal it is essential that you follow several critical guidelines.

First, always make sure that you check references. This can be a burdensome step that many landlords overlook if they feel as though they have a good instinct about the tenant when they meet with them. Not checking references; however, can lead to a number of problems. You can uncover a wealth of information about potential problems before you rent to a prospective tenant.

Always make sure that you have everything in writing. This is to protect not only your rights but also the rights of your tenants as well. Everything from the code of conduct you expect tenants to abide by while renting your property to the rental application itself should be in writing.

You will find that you have better success with your rental property if you take the time to ensure that it is both secure and clean. The grounds of the property should be free of clear and trimmed regularly. Not only will the property be more visually appealing but these actions will also assist you with property liability. You will also want to take additional security measures. Extra security may be able to lower your insurance premiums as well as provide an incentive to quality tenants to rent your property when they know it is secure.

If you make the decision to hire a property manager, take the time to interview prospective candidates very carefully. Property managers can be quite helpful if you do not have the time to tend to all of the details yourself. The wrong property manager; however, can cause you tremendous problems. This means that you will need to hire a thoroughly responsible and professional individual to handle the job.

Always make sure that you obtain adequate insurance. Not only should you have property insurance but you should also have liability insurance. One incident is all it takes to wipe out your investment. Check with your state to determine if any additional insurance coverage is required.

Regardless of the condition the property was in when you purchased it, there will come a time when repairs are needed. This is part and parcel of owning rental property. If you take too long to make repairs, not only will your property suffer and repairs will ultimately cost more to take care of but you will also likely lose quality tenants as well. By making sure that you handle repairs promptly you will be able to maintain the life of your property as well as retain good tenants.

Always make sure that you follow all applicable regulations in the renting of your investment property. The Fair Housing Administration Act provides precise regulations in order to prevent discrimination. If you violate those regulations you could find yourself facing a lawsuit that is costly in terms of time as well as money. The best course of action is to take the time to do your homework and consult an attorney experienced in real estate matters for guidance regarding the FHA as well as ensuring that you have the proper forms.

Finally, make sure that you do not violate the privacy of your tenants. Check with your state’s regulations to find out whether you must provide any type of notice to your tenant before you enter the dwelling.

Following these guidelines will help you to retain quality tenants and avoid any potential legal problems.


Visa program bo…

February 16, 2013

Visa program boosts commercial, helps international

MIAMI – Feb. 15, 2013 – One U.S. visa, the EB5, does more than grant entry to a foreign national. Because it applies only to potential residents who can afford a $500,000 business investment, it’s also attractive to developers who can offer a deal: Invest at least a half million in my business, and I promise to add at least 10 jobs in the first two years so you can get a permanent green card.

For developers, the EB5 program can raise large amounts of non-U.S. cash to fund local projects. As a result, EB5 programs actively seek investors through overseas outreach programs. Businesses or governments must set up an official EB5 program to accept money from EB5 immigrants; but once established, they can go shopping for investors.

“Frankly, it’s cheap capital,” securities lawyer David Schubauer tells The Miami Herald. Schubauer says most investors want to see at least an 8 percent return on their investment. But EB5 investors have an eye on the green card more than the financial risk, and a 1 or 2 percent return is usually enough.

In some countries, notably China, the EB5 rules have created a new business model. Some sellers make it sound as if U.S. visas are for sale at the going rate of $500,000.

Cities are now starting to see the EB5 visa program as a way to raise capital, and Miami could roll out its own EB5 program this year after certified to do so by the federal government. Once certified as a “regional center,” the city could get projects approved and start to attract foreign capital.

Going forward, the EB5 program could be harmed by its success, however. Each visa program allows a specific number of foreign nationals in the U.S. each year, and the EB5 program is capped at 10,000 – a number it has never hit. But a number of immigration experts predict that will happen in 2013.

Source: Miami Herald, Feb. 15, 2013, Douglas Hanks
© 2013 Florida Realtors®


NAR 2012 conference & trade expo

November 15, 2012

International realtors from all over the world. Great conference, (committee) meetings, workshop, trade show and lots of networking and parties. And an international flag ceremony with representatives from 43 countries, including The Netherlands (Theo and me).

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See you in Orlando, Florida in November

October 13, 2012

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