Can a Foreigner Buy a House or Property in Miami?

Can a Foreigner Buy a House or Property in Miami?

Jun 05, 2024 June 05, 2024

Miami has always been known as a beacon for the international real estate market—for decades, it has attracted savvy investors and wealthy individuals from across the globe. From its stunning beaches and incredible weather to its favorable business environment and cultural diversity, Miami is a prime destination for foreign buyers looking to own property in the United States.

And recent stats back up Miami’s appeal. The city secured the top spot on The Economist's recent assessment of the world's top ten thriving cities with shifting global power, noting that Miami’s real GDP is said to have increased 10.6% since 2019, while housing prices increased 39.5% during the same period. Additionally, with Miami rapidly establishing itself as a global city and a financial hub, it is the leading destination for companies relocating from Los Angeles and New York City, boasting a whopping $1 trillion in assets under management.

So, if you’re considering buying property as an investment, as a second or vacation home, or to become an expat and have it as your primary residence, many foreign nationals like you wonder if they can buy a home in Miami, especially in light of the new Florida real estate law for foreign buyers introduced in July 2023, which has imposed some limits on certain nationalities. In this blog, we’ll dive into the ins and outs of this law and who it applies to when buying property in Miami as a foreigner.


— Can a Foreigner Buy a House in Miami?

Villa Miami
Rendering of Villa Miami


The short answer is yes. Like anywhere else in the country, the purchase and sale of property for non-US citizens is generally allowed, and Miami is one of the most popular places for foreigners. In 2023, international investors and buyers from
52 countries participated in Miami real estate transactions totaling $5.1 billion. Additionally, the tri-county South Florida area covering Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach accounts for almost half (47%) of all international home sales in Florida, while the State represents a fifth of all U.S. international property purchases.

Broadly speaking, if you are a foreign national, you have the same buying power as domestic buyers. No special visa is required to make the purchase (although you may need a visa to visit the U.S. to see properties), you can invest in any type of property (commercial or residential), and oftentimes, you can even apply for financing within the United States. One thing to note is that you’ll be subject to taxes—as any U.S. national or citizen would—if you lease, rent, or sell your property. Check with a qualified tax specialist for more details on this, or call us and we can refer you to an international tax expert. 

Nonetheless, Florida’s status as one of the most sought-after real estate markets has seen a new state law limiting some foreign buyers—first introduced in Senate Bill 264 and signed into effect by Governor Ron DeSantis in July of 2023. Florida Statute 692.201 sets new rules for foreigners buying property in Florida because it restricts some individuals and companies associated with China, Russia, Iran, North Korea, Cuba, Venezuela, and Syria from owning property in Florida.


— Understanding the New Foreign Buyer Law in Florida

St. Regis Residences, Sunny Isles Beach FL
Rendering of St. Regis Residences in Sunny Isles


SB 264
and its related statutes 692.201 - 692.205 mark a clear departure from previous real estate regulations in Florida. It bans “foreign principals” of the countries mentioned above from purchasing agricultural land, or any property within 10 miles of military compounds or critical infrastructure, including airports, ports, and power plants. 

In theory, the law is supposed to safeguard national security interests while addressing concerns about foreign influence in potentially sensitive areas. Foreign buyers from the listed countries can only buy property beyond a certain radius from these critical sites. However, in practice, several attorneys have pointed out that this law needs revision, given how much of the Florida area is covered by the listed criteria. 

The law also mandates that existing owners of properties that fall under the ruling must register with state authorities. For example, foreign principals may continue to own agricultural land if owned before July 1, 2023, but must register with the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (DACS). Similarly, foreign principals may continue to own real property within 10 miles of any military installation or critical infrastructure if owned before July 1, 2023, but must’ve registered with the Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) by December 31, 2023.

Florida Realtors Association has created a memorandum to better understand the law

The move has been met with widespread criticism, and experts have pointed out that the law threatens to violate the Constitution and the Fair Housing Act, which was initially designed to protect homebuyers from discrimination based on race or ethnicity.

We should say that the Florida ban on foreign home buyers is not a concrete and blanket one. Exceptions exist for individuals with non-tourist visas or those who have obtained asylum in Florida. 

For other foreign nationals, those from Brazil, Colombia, Canada or Europe, Miami’s luxury real estate market is a great opportunity to safeguard investments in a stable market, as well as provide second home or investment opportunities, and the Miami real estate opportunities for foreign investors abound.


— Best Miami Real Estate Projects for International Buyers

JEM Residences
Rendering of JEM Residences


Here in Miami, there is a mountain of opportunities for international investors. Developers and real estate agents, including us, have long been catering to the interests of foreign buyers who want to call Miami home or invest in real estate here. It is part of why we have an international team of multilingual agents, so buying a property in Miami as a foreigner isn’t a challenging process. We’ll help you identify projects or properties that exactly meet your needs, no matter where you come from.

For those seeking second/vacation homes in Miami, luxurious condominium developments along the coastline offer spectacular ocean views and resort-style amenities. Neighborhoods in Miami Beach, like South Beach, are famed for their pristine waters, exciting nightlife, and historic Art Deco architecture. Further north, Surfside or Sunny Isles Beach provide an escape from busy city life in more secluded and exclusive properties, like Surf House or St. Regis Residences Sunny Isles, with expansive ocean views, where your only job is to relax.

If you’re interested in investing in Miami’s booming short-term rental market, Downtown Miami condos or Brickell buildings are your best bets. Some of the most unique and exciting projects under development include Mercedes-Benz Places, HUB Miami, and JEM Residences

Finally, if you’re considering Miami as a primary residence, you can explore emerging amazing neighborhoods like Edgewater, which offers waterfront living in the most central location. Outstanding projects here include Aria Reserve, Villa Miami, and Edition Residences. And Brickell also is now the “Manhattan of the South,” with dozens of international banking institutions, making it the perfect home for expats who have recently relocated here or must travel here on a regular basis. Family favorite neighborhoods include Coconut Grove, Key Biscayne and Coral Gables. 

Whichever route you want to go down as an international buyer, we have a host of team members ready to take your call and help you formulate a plan. Blackbook Properties will help you find your perfect home or investment property in Miami and its surrounding areas. That said, we always recommend that you discuss international purchases and legal issues with your Florida lawyer. We are not attorneys and this blog doesn’t constitute legal advice.


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