Miami Housing Being Transformed By Wealthy Latinos


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Four years ago, Angel Herrera, 29, together with his brother and father, started investing in properties in Miami during the real estate slump, closing on two $6.6 million deals –- all in cash.

In Venezuela, the Herreras have a food distribution company, among other businesses. But the country’s instability drove them to look elsewhere for investments.

“We were forced to come to Miami because of the security situation and we took advantage of the situation here,” Herrera explains.

The family now owns a total of 62 properties in Miami, including condos, offices, and homes — and they’re looking to buy more.

The Herreras are part of a growing number of wealthy investors from Latin America who have been instrumental in Miami’s ongoing rebound from the real estate collapse that is still affecting other parts of Florida, and the country.

“Investors are spending 2, 3, 4 million dollars, plus. We’re talking serious money.”

Nearly 30 percent of international real estate transactions in Florida are made by Latin Americans. Venezuelans make up the largest group of buyers at 14 percent, followed by Argentinians and Brazilians, each at 11 percent. Colombians account for 8 percent and Mexicans for 5 percent, according to the 2013 Profile of International Home Buyers in Florida prepared by the National Association of Realtors.

On average, Brazilians pay $440,000 for each property and Venezuelans pay around $400,000, which is more than the average international buyer. The domestic buyer pays around $250,000.

But it’s not just the fact Latin American investors can afford higher prices in Miami. It’s that they’re paying cash for their properties.

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