Miami tops foreign home buyer searches

Posted on Thursday, June 19th, 2014 at 2:28pm.

Nationally, 4.0% of the home searches on Trulia.com between January and May 2014 came from outside the U.S. That’s a slight decline from the same period last year, when foreign searches accounted for 4.2% of Trulia’s web search traffic. Canada, the United Kingdom, and Germany remain the top three countries outside the U.S. for home searches. But Brazil has pushed up to 4th place, jumping ahead of India, Mexico, and Australia. Brazil accounted for 4.1% of foreign search traffic in 2014 versus 2.9% in 2013.

Miami remains the metro with the highest share of searches from outside the U.S., widening its lead over Los Angeles – thanks in part to the increase in interest from Brazil and elsewhere in Latin America. Foreign searches account for 16.0% of all searches for homes in Miami and 14.5% in Los Angeles – well ahead of other major metros. The top 10 metros for foreign search traffic were in Florida and the West.

The broader trend of foreigners searching more in urban neighborhoods and less in vacation areas has favored some metros over others. Among the top metros for foreign searches, the share of foreign home searches increased most in Miami and New York, which are both dense, urban metros. Meanwhile, the largest decreases were seen in Cape Coral-Fort Myers and Lakeland-Winter Haven — two Florida markets with a high share of vacation homes.

Foreign interest in U.S. real estate remains highly concentrated in mostly urban neighborhoods, particularly in Miami, Los Angeles, and New York, and is increasingly shifting toward high-density urban areas and away from vacation spots.

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