The International Market ~ Sarasota Real Estate

We are often asked whether there has been an increase in the number of international buyers of real estate in the greater Sarasota area and Florida in general.  There is no doubt that there is an increasing trend of foreign buyers and if you look at the strength (or should I say the weakness) of the dollar you can surely understand why.


In a discussion with one of my British clients recently, he summarized it by saying that properties in Florida are “half-priced”.  He was referring to the roughly 2 to 1 exchange rate between the US Dollar and the British Pound but he said that is exactly how people look at it.  The exchange rate plus the general lack of availability of comparatively beautiful properties are both factors.


We have also been working with a real estate broker in the Czech Republic who is actively seeking investment properties for their clients in Florida.  The Czech Crown is strategically linked to the Euro and currently trades at about 20 CZK to 1 US Dollar.  When we lived in the Czech Republic (from 1996 to 2003) we had an average exchange rate of over 30 CZK to 1 US Dollar.  We could not afford to live there today!


I also worked with a Russian gentleman recently who was interested in purchasing a condominium in downtown Sarasota.  My Russian is not so great but having spent eight years in Central and Eastern Europe and getting to know my way around the issues helped us to overcome any slight communication set backs.

Another client recently asked us what we thought about the potential to sell their home to a Russian national.   My answer is that there is increasing demand from Russia.  Their question prompted me to write a separate article about the contrast in the process of buying real estate in Russia vs.Florida.

There is no doubt that the number of international buyers is growing.  I think we can also bet on an ever increasing number of these buyers from Central and Eastern Europe and in particular Russia.