As CEO of the Miami Association of Realtors, Teresa King Kinney has a keen vantage point on South Florida’s real estate market.
She oversees the largest local group of real estate agents in the country, more than 26,000. Her association provides an array of services and resources for members to help them hone their professional and selling skills, including some 1,600 seminars a year, large and small.
But perhaps the group’s most significant event of the year in terms of impact is the Miami International Real Estate Congress, which started Sunday and continues through Wednesday at the Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables. The group, which focuses heavily on building international awareness of Miami real estate, is hosting agents from across the globe.
Immediately after the event, the National Association of Realtors is gathering in Orlando Friday to Nov. 12th.
Business Monday sat down in an interview with King Kinney, who later responded by email to questions about her association and the local market.
Q. The Miami Association of Realtors is hosting the Miami International Real Estate Congress, which started Sunday and runs through Wednesday. What trends are you seeing in international interest in Miami properties? What has your group done to build relationships with brokers in other countries to build Miami’s image?
International buyers continue to play a pivotal role in the local market, fueling a recovery unlike any other in the U.S. The Miami Association of Realtors has more than 100 partner associations worldwide. These relationships and the association’s international outreach programs continue to boost our market and result in Miami’s all-time sales record in 2011 and subsequent significant price appreciation.
International demand for Miami properties continues to grow. While Florida’s market share of international buying activity in the U.S. declined over the last year, Miami’s grew by more than 10 percent. Nearly one-third of all international transactions in Florida take place in Miami.Q. Where is most of the foreign buyer interest in South Florida real estate coming from these days? Are you seeing growing interest from some nations and less from others?
While Miami is undoubtedly attracting demand from buyers and investors worldwide, it remains a hotspot for Latin American buyers. In Miami, 70 percent of international sales are to Latin American buyers, followed by Western Europeans, who account for 18 percent of local international sales. Miami also attracts buyers from North America, Eastern Europe, Asia, Africa, and Australia.
Latin Americans, not even including top markets of Brazil and Venezuela, prefer Miami over any other market in Florida by a significant margin of 65.8 percent. No other market even comes close.
Not surprisingly, Venezuelan buyers also greatly favor Miami, with 67.4 percent of Venezuelans choosing Miami followed by Fort Lauderdale with 16.3 percent, for a total of 83.7 percent.
Miami is also the top choice for Brazilian buyers, who are nine percent of international buyers in Florida. Nearly 50 percent of Brazilian buyers choose Miami, followed by Fort Lauderdale at 18.6 percent, for a total of 68.6 percent.Q. What obstacles or bumps in the road do you see to the continued recovery of the Miami residential market? In other words, what are some of the key challenges? Are you concerned about access to mortgages? How about the possibility of another cycle of overbuilding of condominiums?