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Standout Statistics on International Buyers

The 2011 Profile of International Home Buying Activity is hot off the presses. Compiled by the National Association of REALTORS®, this year’s survey contains some standout statistics that should make home sellers in Southwest Florida very happy.  Chief among them is the percentage of total sales accounted for by international buyers.

According to the survey, most states report some degree of international buying activity.  Yet Florida, along with just three other states—California, Texas and Arizona—account for 58% of all sales to international buyers.   Moreover, Florida’s share—presently at 31.0%—is higher than the combined shares of California (12.0%), Texas (9.0%) and Arizona (6.0%).  This represents a threefold increase in international property transactions in just four years.  In 2007, Florida enjoyed only 10% of international sales.

Typically, international buyers spend more per property too.  The average price paid by international buyers was $315,000 compared with the overall U.S. average of $218,000.

Buyers responding to the survey came from 70 countries; the top five being Canada, the U.K., Mexico, China and India.  Proximity to their home country, the convenience of air transportation, and climate and location appear to weigh heaviest on their decision of where to buy.   Plus, a company’s visibility and its network of global real estate contacts figure prominently in capturing the attention of international buyers.

REALTORS participating in the survey reported that their clients often found them online or through their company’s system of international referrals.  This is arguably the most important point in the survey for would-be sellers in the process of choosing between real estate agents and their companies.  Among the questions you should ask each prospective agent you interview is to demonstrate how well their company reaches out to the international buyer.

Across the United States last year there were a total of 90,000 property transactions involving international buyers—or 22% of all sales.  At Michael Saunders & Company 33% of our closed transactions in the past year involved foreign buyers.

This is no accident of luck.  For nearly forty years, Michael Saunders & Company has used its independence and home-grown knowledge of our market to hand select only those international brokerage partners known for their global reach and sophisticated marketing techniques.  We have also forged key relationships in countries whose buyers are known to favor owning property in Southwest Florida—especially Canada and the U.K.

Thanks to our present-day affiliations with Christie’s International Real Estate, Luxury Portfolio International, Leading Real Estate Companies of the World, the European Real Estate Network (EREN) and Mayfair International Realty in the U.K., your Michael Saunders & Company agent is able to showcase your home to over 200,000 of the world’s top agents who refer buyers from 6,500 affiliate branch offices in 52 countries.  This is the kind of targeted exposure a non-independent brokerage or single-affiliate franchise simply can’t provide.

The other important source of our global outreach is michaelsaunders.com.  Traffic to the site—plus that to our global affiliates’ websites—nets us more web visitors than any single network of brokers. Thus, our national and international media relationships ensure that our listings can be viewed on more than 2,000 carefully chosen websites.  As such, more than 1.70 million visitors from around the world—or nearly 145,000 per month—visited michaelsaunders.com and our affiliate web sites in the past year (Source:  compete.com).  In fact, no matter what country a buyer begins their search from, michaelsaunders.com tops the list of virtually every search query involving Southwest Florida real estate.

Inventories of available properties under $1 million throughout Sarasota, Manatee and Charlotte Counties are now at their lowest levels in six years thanks to months of accelerated buyer activity.  With no end to the buying spree in sight and with supplies dwindling, now is one of the best times in six years to sell your home—provided it is priced competitively and in reasonably good repair.  With international buyers so integral to our market’s on-going recovery, make sure to list your property with an agent who can guarantee the most thorough international reach.  In any language, Michael Saunders & Company is the obvious best choice.

 

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