By Ismael Rodriguez

Investors from Venezuela, Argentina, Brazil, Colombia and Canada accounted for 64 percent of foreign sales in South Florida last year, according to the Miami Association of Realtors.

Their purchases came mostly from Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach and Marin counties, while totaling $6.2 billion on residential properties alone.

This propelled South Florida into a year-over-year increase in international purchases of residential properties, a $100 million difference from 2015. More than half of Florida’s foreign deals in 2016 came from purchases made in South Florida.

Venezuelan investors topped the list by spending $868 million of the $6.2 billion, while Brazilians invested $861 million, according to the report.

Some real estate agents understand that Venezuela is under a period of political turmoil and economic instability. Therefore, they are capitalizing on Venezuelan investments by helping the wealthy move their money into Miami’s commercial markets, including projects in under-developed neighborhoods like Little Havana.

Here’s a breakdown of foreign purchases of South Florida homes by county, according to the report.


  •       Venezuela (17 percent)
  •       Brazil (15 percent)
  •       Argentina (14 percent)
  •       Colombia (8 percent)
  •       Italy, Mexico and Canada (4 percent each)


  •       Venezuela (18 percent)
  •       Colombia (17 percent)
  •       Canada (13 percent)
  •       Argentina (12 percent)
  •       Brazil (10 percent)

 Palm Beach

  •      Canada (30 percent)
  •      Venezuela (9 percent)
  •      Brazil, Germany and Italy (7 percent each)
  •     Argentina, Colombia, Ireland and Russia (4 percent each)

 Martin County

  •      Canada (21 percent)
  •      Australia and Brazil (13 percent)
  •      Germany and Venezuela (8 percent each)