When it comes to foreign investors searching for a lucrative real estate return, Florida ranks number one in the US, especially among Cubans, Haitians, and Colombians. The National Association of Realtors data shows that almost a third of all home purchases in Florida, come from foreign residents. With the constant struggles of qualifying for mortgages these days in the US, many of these foreign investors are in a better position because they are cash buyers. Many Cubans see investing in Florida as a safe bet because the concept of owning real estate is still a novelty to them. Now that direct flights to and from Cuba are in full swing, the Tampa Bay area can expect to see an increase in Cuban interest. There are currently about 80,000 Cuban Americans in the Tampa Bay area, all of which are excited that they do not have to travel to Miami for a flight to the island.
Another factor that may increase investor activity is the number of home foreclosures in 2011. Down almost 34% from the previous year’s numbers, foreclosures are no longer impeding the progress of the Tampa Bay housing market. More short sales are being signed off on, which are attractive options for foreign cash buyers.
With a drop in inventory and median sales price for homes up about $10,000 from last January’s records, there are definitely some areas to capitalize on, as realtors and investors.