Sarasota-Manatee real estate still strong with foreign buyers


Southwest Florida apparently escaped the free fall in foreign investment in residential real estate that hit much of the country. And the Sunshine State remains the most appealing to those property buyers, besting California and Texas.

The latest annual survey of real estate professionals by the National Association of Realtors found a steep decline in property sales and dollar volume in American existing homes from April 2018 through March 2019. A drop in global growth and low housing inventory contributed to the decrease in the number of foreign purchases of U.S. residential real estate.

“A confluence of many factors — slower economic growth abroad, tighter capital controls in China, a stronger U.S. dollar and a low inventory of homes for sale — contributed to the pullback of foreign buyers,” Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said in last week’s report of the survey. “However, the magnitude of the decline is quite striking, implying less confidence in owning a property in the U.S.”

The decline across Florida stands in marked contrast with national figures. Foreigners accounted for 13% of the state’s overall residential sales, two percentage points lower than the previous time span. The national share totaled 5% of sales.