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A Look at the Top Countries Buying Property in Florida

Geopolitical, economic and financial trends continue to impact the flow of inbound global buyers. Find out what’s new.

Not long ago, Marlene Cambronero, a sales associate with Suncoast Realty Solutions in Tampa, was invited by a radio station to discuss real estate opportunities in Central America. “Just 30 minutes after the show, a Tampa woman who was listening on the internet called me, and I earned a listing of a beautiful property,” she says. “Last year, I attended a real estate congress in Granada, Spain, where I met a Realtor® from Alaska who referred a buyer for a home just 20 minutes from my house. There are great business opportunities everywhere in the world!”

Florida consistently attracts more international buyers than any other state, and about 20% of all U.S. international home sales last year occurred in Florida, according to Florida Realtors® “2023 Profile of International Residential Transactions in Florida.” Desirable location is the top influencing factor, and investment potential is important to roughly half of international buyers.

This year, geopolitical, economic and financial trends continue to affect the flows of inbound buyers. For instance, tensions with Russia and China may limit sales opportunities in those countries, while conflict in the Middle East could make ownership of U.S. properties more attractive. Personal security is another consideration for affluent Latin American families, who may purchase Florida homes for themselves or their children.

“Do your research to see who is investing in your market,” says Gonzalo Mejia, sales associate, Watson Realty Corp. in Jacksonville, and 2023 chair of the Florida Realtors® Global Business Committee. “Global, national, state and local trends are all important to consider when seeking international clients.” That includes the foreign exchange rates, which can affect the cost of purchasing a Florida home.

Here is a look at the state’s major international markets.


For decades, Canadian buyers have relished purchasing winter homes in the Sunshine State. Today, they can be found in virtually every part of the state. “While about 55% of Canadians’ U.S. investments are in Florida, many have been on the sidelines, waiting for positive signs to make a move,” says Alain Forget, national director business development U.S. for RBC Bank in Fort Lauderdale. “Now, rates have gone down and the Canadian dollar is forecast to strengthen slightly, and 2024 looks bright.”

Garry Walmsley, senior global real estate advisor with Real Broker, LLC in Orlando, agrees, noting that Florida properties are relatively affordable for Canadians. “Those high costs have led many younger Canadians to purchase second homes in Florida, particularly in Orlando, which has a strong short-term rental market. They might still rent or live with their parents but are looking to make investments here. We have also seen Canadians with family members in the U.S. partnering to purchase residences that can generate U.S. dollars.”


With one of the largest economies in Latin America, Colombia is a major source of inbound residential and commercial investment. Last year, Colombians were the No. 1 purchaser of South Florida properties—a trend expected to continue this year due to lower inflation and improved financial conditions. Ana Gazzara, sales associate with Empire Network Realty in Orlando, is optimistic about residential purchases following a recent marketing trip to Colombia.


Brazil is consistently a leading source of foreign buyers—not just in South Florida, but throughout the state. “Political and security concerns are among the drivers,” says Gazzara. “But our state’s favorable market conditions, potential for appreciation and lifestyle are very appealing to Brazilians, as well as other South American buyers.”

Mejia has seen more Brazilians looking at the Orlando market for their residential and commercial investments, adding that direct flights bring in buyers as well as tourists.


Argentina’s President Javier Milei has shaken up the nation’s economy and taken steps to reduce high inflation since being inaugurated last year. “In times of instability, many Argentinians seek a safe harbor in U.S. investments, and Florida is a natural location,” says Mejia. He notes that Uruguay, on the northern side of Argentina, may also be a good target market for Florida real estate professionals seeking South American clients.

Central America

With stable governments in Costa Rica, Panama, Honduras and other countries, many Central Americans have the financial resources to purchase homes in Florida, says Cambronero. “Our proximity to these markets, along with frequent flights, makes it easy to invest here.”

There are also outbound referral opportunities, particularly for Florida retirees and remote workers, adds Cambronero. “Connecting with real estate agents in those countries has also given me the opportunity to educate them about our Florida market and build a referral network for future opportunities,” she adds.

United Kingdom

Economic uncertainties and a stagnant housing market have put vacation home purchases on the backburner, says Walmsley. “But more Brits are traveling this year, and that is a very positive sign.” He adds that Orlando is a family destination and caters to middle-class buyers, while more affluent purchasers tend to prefer South Florida.

Paula Cashi and her daughters, Lori Cashi-Haught and Tami Cashi—all sales associates with Coldwell Banker in Lakewood Ranch—traveled to London and Dublin, Ireland, last fall to take part in real estate shows. “There was a great deal of interest in Florida’s luxury markets,” says Cashi-Haught. “They love turnkey furnished properties that they can rent part-time to cover some of the expenses. Many prefer to come here in the summer when the kids are out of school.”

Western Europe

France, Germany, Spain and Italy are the leading sources of buyers from Europe, but they are far from the only potential markets, according to Samira Easton, broker-associate with Premier Sotheby’s International Realty in Venice. She led a trade mission to the Netherlands last fall and has also built connections with real estate professionals in Belgium.

“These countries are very different, so you need to be familiar with the culture, as well as the language,” she says. “You should also understand economic conditions in your target countries to help build a case for purchasing in Florida.”


While investments from China are declining, sales professionals can find opportunities this year by marketing to Koreans, as well as other Asians, says Julie Yo, broker-associate with RE/MAX Alliance Group in Tampa. “We have seen a growing interest from Korean families, who like the Tampa Bay area for business as well as residential investments,” she says. “There are also more buyers from Vietnam, India and the Philippines, wanting to be in a warm climate.”

Gazzara adds that Florida professionals should also look at the Middle East, where many families want to own U.S. assets and diversify their real estate portfolios.

Reflecting on the ever-changing international market, Gazzara cites her work with an international basketball player, who purchased multiple properties in the Orlando area, including a luxury home in Windermere owned by a Scottish resident. As she says, “By learning about global markets and honing our skills, we can unlock incredible opportunities for our clients.”

Richard Westlund is a Miami-based freelance writer.