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Colombians Top Miami Real Estate Searchers with 12.3% Share

A January 2024 report by the Miami Association of Realtors reveals Colombia as the top searcher of South Florida real estate, holding the top 2 positions for 23 consecutive months. This surge coincides with the presidency of Gustavo Petro, who was elected May 2022, and inaugurated August 2022, sparking questions about potential connections. Public sentiment in Colombia aligns with this trend, with a recent poll showing 62% believing the national economy is on a downward trajectory, compared to 38% before the election. The Colombian peso depreciated by 15% against the US dollar since Petro took office which hasn't helped and is one factor that may be driving Colombians to seek alternative investments such as real estate in Miami.



According to a January 2024 report by the Miami Association of Realtors, Colombia registered the most global searches for South Florida real estate.


Colombia has now finished in the top two among all countries for such searches of Miami real estate over the last 23 months. Coincidentally, this coincides with the time Gustavo Petro was elected president (May 2022) and inaugurated (August 2022).


Top Searching Countries and Cities for South Florida Real Estate


Here is a list of the top 10 searching countries according to the report in January 2024 (share of international searches):


  1. Colombia (12.3%)

  2. China (9.5%)

  3. Argentina (5.9%)

  4. Canada (5.4%)

  5. India (5.4%)

  6. New Zealand (4.7%)

  7. Spain (4.7%)

  8. Venezuela (4.4%)

  9. Russia (4.2%)

  10. Brazil (4.1%)

[All other countries (39.4%)]


 

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In terms of top-searching cities, these were the top international searchers of Miami residential real estate:


  1. Bogotá, Colombia

  2. Buenos Aires, Argentina

  3. Medellin, Colombia

  4. Havana, Cuba

  5. Moscow

  6. Madrid

  7. London

  8. Frankfurt

  9. Toronto

  10. Caracas, Colombia


Two Possible Explanations for the Increased Search Activity


Colombia's new far-left president, Gustavo Petro, has proposed a number of economic policies that have caused some uncertainty and angst in the populace. These include increased government spending on social programs, mismanagement and the wasting of oil resources, and heavier regulations and taxation on certain industries. A recent poll by a polling institute in Colombia (i.e., Invamer) found that 62% of Colombians believe the national economy is headed in the wrong direction, a significant increase from 38% just prior to Petro's election.


petro falling poll numbers

The Colombian peso has depreciated by 15% against the US dollar since Petro took office, stoking concerns about inflation and economic instability. The peso has stabilized recently once it became clear that most of Petro's reform agenda would not have the votes to become law. In such conditions, converting pesos to dollars and parking them in a real property in Miami is an attractive alternative.


petro election and peso correlation

The second possible explanation is more controversial. Under Petro, Colombia's cocaine production and exports have surged and reports indicate that it is now the nation's top export, surpassing even oil. It's important to acknowledge the complexity and lack of definitive evidence linking Colombia's drug trade to Miami property purchase. The drug trade is illegal and obviously data isn't tracked and published.


This economic shift towards cocaine production and the need to park illicit funds, coupled with ongoing concerns about Colombia's economic future, are two possible causes for the observed increase in Colombian property purchases and searches in South Florida.

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