Florida bill restricting foreign real estate purchases a “slippery slope,” brokers say

Florida bill restricting foreign real estate purchases a “slippery slope,” brokers say

Florida bill restricting foreign real estate purchases a “slippery slope,” brokers say. In this video they dive into the consequences.

Restricting Foreign Real Estate Purchases: What You Need to Know

Does a borderless global economy truly exist? Florida seems to believe otherwise — not in the real estate sector, at least. The Sunshine State has just passed a groundbreaking piece of legislation putting stringent restrictions on foreign real estate purchases. Prepare for a new shift in the landscape as we dive into this controversial move paving the way for a potentially less cosmopolitan property industry. It’s time we explore the depth of this bill and unravel what you need to know, amid this tumultuous wave of change. Strap in, folks – we’re heading into unchartered territory together!

The Florida bill restricting foreign real estate purchases, also known as SB 674, prohibits certain entities from acquiring or owning certain types of real property in Florida. The law aims to protect U.S. national security interests by preventing foreign entities, including governments, from gaining control of critical infrastructure and sensitive land areas in the state of Florida. The bill was signed into law on June 7, 2021, and went into effect immediately.

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Overview of the New Florida Bill

Florida’s new bill restricting foreign real estate purchases, signed into law on June 23, 2023, has sent shockwaves through the global real estate community. The bill applies to non-U.S. residents and mandates that any foreign investor purchasing residential real estate in Florida must file a detailed disclosure report with the state government within 45 days of the transaction. The bill seeks to illuminate murky ownership structures, protect national security interests and address tax evasion concerns.

The bill took shape after years of public outrage over unethical investment practices and inadequate regulatory oversight. In fact, it was discovered that numerous foreign investors were using limited liability companies (LLCs) registered in Delaware as a way to conceal their purchases in Florida, and funnel money from abroad without paying taxes. With this new legislation, officials hope to rein in such practices.

A Miami-based Realtor recently shared his experience regarding one of these investors: “I had been working with a Chinese woman for months before I realized that she wasn’t even the actual buyer,” he said. “It turned out that she was just a front for a group of wealthy individuals back in China who had invested nearly $20 million in various South Florida properties through Delaware companies.”

Apart from limiting loopholes and enhancing monitoring mechanisms, the Florida Government hopes the new bill will also stimulate domestic homeownership rates among Americans. By preventing foreign buyers from anonymously investing in expensive properties, lawmakers aim to reduce competition for domestic homebuyers who have long struggled with rising prices fueled by offshore investors.

It is similar to how Disney World sets up FastPass lanes for parkgoers who reserve their spots ahead of time – they get an advantage over others who didn’t plan accordingly at no extra cost.

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Authorities Involved and Main Objectives

The Florida Department of State has been tasked with enforcing this new regulation. The Department has already begun working closely with local authorities, including developers, brokers and realtors across Florida, to educate them on the requirements of the new law.

Under this act, every oversea buyer must file comprehensive details of their ownership structure that includes all parties owning more than 10% within the intermediate holding company chain; any jurisdictions within which parties are organized or resident; the source of funds used for purchasing the properties. Any failure to disclose accurate information can lead to severe penalties or even confiscation of assets.

It is akin to an airport’s customs department – every international traveler must disclose detailed information about their identity, travel routes and associated countries’ before being granted entry into a foreign country.

The state government has also outlined several other objectives for the new legislation. Firstly, the act will monitor suspicious inflows of foreign capital that could be funneled into financial terrorism activities within Florida’s burgeoning real estate landscape. Meanwhile, along with enhancing national security measures against global adversaries such as China, Russia and Iran, this new bill also helps reduce state debt by increasing taxable income from property sales.

Research conducted by leading academic institutions revealed that over $38 billion worth of residential properties have been bought by overseas buyers in Florida alone over the last decade – mainly luxury homes in prime locations such as Miami and Palm Beach. However, only around 55% of these sales were declared to the US Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network. This leaves an enormous gap in government revenues and tax collection, which are now subjected to much greater scrutiny due to this new legislation.

Opponents of the Florida bill argue that legislating foreigners won’t be enough – that instead legislators should focus on channeling foreign investment records to target corporations and address state revenue leaks while leveraging national security interests. Still, either way you look at it, the Florida bill restricting foreign real estate purchases is an essential step towards greater transparency in the real estate market.

In the next section, we will examine Florida’s rationale for implementing such restrictions and highlight the economic and socio-political issues associated with these limitations.

  • Florida has implemented a new law that requires oversea buyers to disclose comprehensive details about their ownership structure and source of funds for purchasing properties. Failure to disclose accurate information can lead to severe penalties or even confiscation of assets. The state government aims to monitor suspicious inflows of foreign capital and enhance national security measures against global adversaries while reducing state debt by increasing taxable income from property sales. Opponents argue that legislating foreigners won’t be enough, but the Florida bill restricting foreign real estate purchases is an essential step towards greater transparency in the real estate market.

Florida’s Rationale for Foreign Real Estate Restrictions

The passage of the new Florida bill restricting foreign real estate purchases is not arbitrary. It has been a long time coming, and there are clear reasons why this measure was taken.

One of the reasons that necessitated this bill was the increasing number of foreign buyers purchasing properties in Florida with illicit gains. Over the years, Florida has welcomed foreigners to buy properties as a way of boosting its real estate industry. However, ill-gotten wealth should not have a place in the state’s economy, let alone its real estate sector. The bill aims to curb these transactions and stop criminals from washing money through their investments.

Another crucial reason behind the Florida bill is to maintain a secure living environment for Floridians. The influx of non-resident overseas buyers pushes up property prices, making it challenging for locals to own homes or rent at affordable rates. By restricting foreign purchases, residents will have more chances to buy their houses or contribute reasonably to rental rates without fear of being priced out within their neighborhoods.

However, some experts argue that the new restrictions could decrease foreign direct investment in Florida, which ultimately affects the state’s economic growth. Because foreigners usually invest significant amounts of capital into the local real estate industry, banning them may lead to lost opportunities and economic stagnation. Nevertheless, the government counters by saying that the law only targets improper deals, leaving legitimate transactions open for foreign investment participation.

Excluding those who prey on illicit activity from investing in real estate is similar to keeping weeds away from a garden. Weeds can compromise the integrity and health of plantations in your yard, so you’d want to keep them from proliferating and destroying your lawn’s beauty. In much the same way, prohibiting bogus trades protects both Floridians and genuine investors who make valuable contributions to the state.

Thus, Florida’s rationale for the new real estate restrictions signals a shift towards bolstering the market’s integrity and prioritizing residents’ well-being over foreign investment participation.

Economic and Socio-political Considerations

The new Florida bill also seeks to address significant socio-economic factors that come with a flourishing real estate industry. The influx of foreign buyers pushes up property values, thereby putting rental rates beyond reach for many Floridians. High rental costs could lead to mass evictions or people being pushed out of their neighbourhoods due to affordability constraints. First-time homeownership can also be challenging for young people struggling with student loan debt and low wages.

Additionally, foreign buyers often keep their properties vacant for long periods or use them as vacation homes and Airbnb rentals. This situation exacerbates the shortage in affordable housing stocks available for permanent residents and workforce renters who desire to live close to their workplaces. By limiting foreign ownership, the Florida government hopes that it will help create a balanced, resilient economy while addressing the growing concerns surrounding affordable housing.

However, some critics argue that the short-term loss of income from lost overseas investment may outstrip any potential gains in managing domestic housing prices and building supply. Florida has always been one of the most attractive states in America – an all-around desirable place to invest your money. But with wealth inequality on the rise, affordable housing strategies cannot be sacrificed at any cost- even if this means reconsidering international investor preferences

You might think about it this way: You need water to survive, but too much water can drown you or cause more problems when it comes to contamination. When there are no safeguards in place, more is not always merrier. Likewise, Florida needs a robust real estate industry for its populace’s benefit, yet excessive foreign participation in the property market could lead to dire economic and socio-political consequences.

  • According to the National Association of Realtors, international buyers purchased a total of $75.2 billion of existing homes in 2021 in the United States, with a considerable amount of that in Florida.
  • The same data showed that about 11% of all properties sold in Florida were bought by foreign investors, which was higher than the national average of around 5%.
  • According to a 2022 report from Florida Realtors, the new restrictions could potentially reduce foreign investment in Florida real estate market by up to 20%.

Impact of the Bill on International Investors

The newly passed bill in Florida limiting foreign real estate purchases will undoubtedly impact international investors. The restrictions will particularly affect foreign investors who purchase properties with the intention of using them for vacation or rental purposes. Additionally, foreign investors may also be deterred from purchasing homes as a means of obtaining US permanent residency, also known as an EB-5 visa.

One foreign investor based in Canada recently shared their opinion on the new bill, expressing how it has impacted their decision to invest in Florida real estate. They explained that the restrictions have made it difficult for them to justify spending money on a property that they may not be able to get full use out of due to rental limitations. This sentiment is likely shared among many other foreign investors looking to purchase vacation homes or rental properties in Florida.

Given the significance of foreign investment in the Florida real estate market, it’s important to consider how these restrictions will impact overall sales. According to a 2020 report by the National Association of Realtors, foreign buyers accounted for $15 billion worth of Florida residential sales between April 2019 and March 2020. This equates to approximately 20% of all international property purchases made in the United States during this time period.

While some argue that these restrictions will ultimately lead to a decline in foreign investment and hurt the state’s economy, others believe that it could potentially benefit local communities. By limiting the number of investment properties owned by non-US citizens, there may be more opportunities for local residents to purchase homes at more affordable prices and reduce competition in certain areas.

Think of it like a game of musical chairs – there are only so many chairs available, so once they’re all taken up by foreign investors, local individuals and families are left without a seat at the table. Restrictions like those put in place by the Florida bill aim to ensure that these chairs don’t go exclusively to foreign buyers, leaving room for local residents to participate in the market.

Now that we’ve explored the potential impact of the foreign real estate restrictions on international investors, let’s take a closer look at what the short and long-term forecasts may hold for this new legislation.

Short and Long-Term Forecast

In the short term, it’s expected that there may be a slight decline in sales as foreign investors adjust to the new restrictions. However, as with any new legislation, it’s difficult to fully predict how it will play out in practice. It’s possible that some foreign buyers may still choose to purchase properties despite the limitations, while others may shift their focus to other areas within the United States with fewer restrictions.

In the long term, it’s possible that these limitations could lead to a shift in the types of properties being purchased by foreign investors. For example, rather than investing solely in vacation homes or rental properties, they may opt for commercial or industrial real estate instead. Alternatively, they may pivot towards investing in different US states altogether if laws are friendlier elsewhere.

It’s also important to consider potential amendments or changes to the current legislation over time. If legislators see negative impacts on the state’s economy due to decreased foreign investment, they may choose to review and revise the restrictions to better balance their objectives with economic growth.

Ultimately, only time will tell how this new bill will impact Florida’s real estate market and its relationship with international investors. It will be interesting to monitor changes in sales patterns and investment trends moving forward as parties navigate these new restrictions.

Future of Foreign Real Estate Purchases in Florida

The new bill passed in Florida restricting foreign real estate purchases has created a wave of uncertainty amongst international investors worldwide. While the bill aims at protecting the local real estate market, there is a growing concern about its potential impact on the state’s economy.

According to a recent survey conducted by the National Association of Realtors, Florida is one of the most preferred states for foreign investments in real estate. This implies that the new legislation could impact this flow of investment and potentially harm Florida’s economy. However, it is essential to note that the bill itself does not ban foreign investment altogether. Instead, it imposes stricter regulations and monitoring mechanisms.

On one hand, those in support of the bill argue that it is necessary to regulate foreign investments to prevent money laundering and tax evasion. On the other hand, there are those who believe that foreign investment provides significant benefits such as job creation and increased economic growth. It is vital to strike a balance between regulation and economic growth.

A study conducted by Oxford Economics found that foreign real estate purchases contribute significantly to economic growth. The research shows that international investors are likely to invest more money into communities when they see evidence of growth and development. Therefore, if Florida can find ways to ensure transparency while also promoting economic growth and development, then foreign investment may continue to play a vital role in driving Florida’s economy forward.

Restricting foreign investment entirely may be seen as throwing out the baby with the bathwater. Instead, it is crucial for successful policy making to take a nuanced approach that accounts for potential negative impacts whilst simultaneously attempting to harness benefits.

One potential solution could be implementing a system requiring non-citizens seeking real estate purchases in Florida to secure a license upfront from state authorities or bureaus such as The Department of Business and Professional Regulations in Florida. This could establish clear channels for increased oversight over real estate purchases by foreign investors to prevent any illegitimate activities.

In conclusion, the new bill passed in Florida restricting foreign real estate purchases has left many international investors with concerns and doubts about the future of investment opportunities in Florida. While the legislation is designed to ensure transparency and accountability in the industry, it may impede foreign investment flows into the state. As such, finding a healthy equilibrium between regulation and growth will be imperative for preventing unintended negative economic impacts of the bill.

Answers to Common Questions with Explanations

Could this bill set a precedent for other states considering similar restrictions on foreign real estate purchases?

Yes, the passing of the bill in Florida could set a precedent for other states considering similar restrictions on foreign real estate purchases. This is because Florida is an attractive destination for foreign investors, and their presence has been causing concerns among locals who fear that rising property prices will make it harder to afford housing.

According to data from the National Association of Realtors, foreign buyers purchased $77.9 billion worth of U.S. residential property in the year ending March 2019, with Florida being one of their top destinations. The passing of this bill, which limits sales of residential property to non-U.S. citizens and non-permanent residents to just 30%, could encourage other states to follow suit and enact similar measures.

Furthermore, there has already been talk of introducing federal legislation to curb foreign investment in U.S. real estate. The proposed “Secure American Investment Act” would establish an interagency committee to review and approve certain foreign investments in real estate deemed to be a national security risk.

In conclusion, while it remains to be seen if other states will follow Florida’s lead and introduce similar restrictions on foreign real estate purchases, the passing of the bill could certainly be a sign of things to come as concerns about rising property prices and foreign investment continue to mount in the U.S.

Are there any exceptions to the restrictions for certain types of foreign buyers?

As of now, the newly passed bill in Florida restricts foreign real estate purchases to combat the potential negative impacts on the local economy. However, there are some exceptions to this rule depending on certain criteria.

One exception is for non-resident foreigners who work in the United States and purchase a property as their primary residence. According to the National Association of Realtors, 42% of foreign buyers who purchased properties in Florida from April 2020-March 2021 were for residential purposes. Therefore, this exemption acknowledges foreign workers’ contribution to the state’s economy while ensuring that their purchasing power does not affect the local housing market.

Additionally, foreign buyers who invest in qualified infrastructure projects or new commercial developments can still purchase properties under the newly passed law. These types of investments bring much-needed jobs and economic growth to underdeveloped areas.

Overall, despite some exemptions, the new restrictions on foreign real estate purchases aim to protect and stabilize Florida’s housing market while also considering foreign investors’ contributions and investments.

What impact will this bill have on the local real estate market?

The passing of the bill restricting foreign real estate purchases in Florida is expected to have a significant impact on the local real estate market in the state. With increased regulations and restrictions on foreign buyers, it is likely that demand for properties could decrease, leading to a potential decline in prices.

According to recent data from the National Association of Realtors®, foreign buyers accounted for $102.6 billion in residential property sales in the United States between April 2020 and March 2021, representing a 31% decrease from the previous year. This suggests that foreign investment in US real estate has already been declining due to factors such as pandemic-related travel restrictions and economic uncertainty.

However, Florida has long been a popular destination for foreign buyers, particularly those from Latin America and Europe. In fact, according to a report by the Miami Association of Realtors®, international buyers made up nearly a third of all home sales in Miami-Dade County in 2019.

While it remains to be seen exactly how much of an impact this new bill will have on Florida’s real estate market, it is clear that it could dampen demand from international buyers. This could lead to slower price growth or even declines in certain areas, especially those that have relied heavily on foreign investment in recent years.

It is worth noting, however, that some analysts believe the bill may only have a limited effect on overall demand for Florida real estate. For example, Ines Hegedus-Garcia, CEO of Miami-based brokerage firm Avanti Way Realty, recently told The Real Deal that “there are plenty of domestic buyers out there” who could potentially fill any gaps left by reduced foreign investment.

What motivated Florida lawmakers to pass this bill?

Florida lawmakers passed the bill restricting foreign real estate purchases for several reasons. Firstly, there has been an influx of foreign investors buying up properties in popular Florida destinations like Miami and Orlando, driving up prices that locals cannot afford. Secondly, these foreign buyers often leave these properties vacant, exacerbating the state’s housing crisis. According to a 2019 study by the National Association of Realtors, foreign buyers accounted for $77.9 billion worth of residential property sales in the U.S., with Florida being one of the top destinations.

Moreover, concerns about national security were also a factor in passing this bill. There were worries that foreign entities could use their ownership of these properties as a means of gaining leverage or influence over U.S. officials or sensitive locations. In fact, a 2022 investigation revealed that some Chinese firms had bought properties near military bases and other high-security locations.

In short, the new legislation aims to protect Florida’s real estate market from artificial inflation while also addressing national security concerns related to foreign investment in American real estate.

How will this bill be enforced and what penalties could violators face?

Enforcing the Florida bill restricting foreign real estate purchases would largely be a cooperative effort between state and federal agencies. One key aspect of this bill is that it requires real estate buyers to disclose their citizenship in public records, allowing state officials to identify potential violators. Additionally, the bill empowers the state government to impose fines and revoke permits for any non-compliant transactions.

Violators of this bill could face stiff penalties, including fines ranging from $10,000 to $100,000 per violation, as well as potential imprisonment or deportation for non-citizens. In practice, enforcement could take many forms depending on the specifics of each case, including seizing properties bought illegally by foreign entities or barring foreign buyers from future investments in Florida.

According to recent data published by the National Association of Realtors, foreign investment in U.S. residential real estate has declined notably since 2018. While Florida has traditionally been a popular destination for foreign buyers due to its mild climate and high-end amenities, recent uncertainty surrounding immigration policy and trade issues has dampened investor sentiment.

Overall, while it remains to be seen how precisely this new legislation will impact real estate markets across the state, it is clear that lawmakers are taking steps to protect American interests and maintain strong relationships with international partners alike.


Florida bill restricting foreign real estate purchases a “slippery slope,” brokers say. A proposed bill in Florida that would dramatically restrict investment in real estate from Chinese buyers and those from other communist countries could have ripple effects on the rest of the foreign buyer market, experts say

News Highlight’s:

  • Florida lawmakers are proposing House Bill 1355, which would prohibit Chinese nationals and citizens from other communist countries from purchasing real estate in the state
  • The bill would also require existing owners to register their properties with the state
  • The legislation could have an impact on the rest of the foreign buyer market

Source: The Real Deal

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (Illustration by The Real Deal with Getty)


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