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Florida is not only the host state for this year’s REALTORS® Conference & Expo, it’s also the fastest growing destination of choice for international buyers, accounting for 26 percent of foreign purchases last year, according to the National Association of REALTORS® 2012 Profile of International Home Buying Activity. It’s no surprise, then, that this year’s conference has a notable global presence.

“We’ve all heard the term, ‘all real estate is local,’ but more and more local real estate markets are developing a decidedly global flavor,” says NAR President Moe Veissi. “For the past several years, NAR’s research has illuminated global investment market trends in the U.S., and the data indicate that many foreigners are investing in their futures by owning homes in the U.S.”

NAR President Veissi’s hometown of Miami is one of the most attractive for foreign buyers; 31 percent of all purchases by international buyers in Florida from June 2011-June 2012 were in Miami. That’s according to Florida Association of REALTORS® Chief Economist John Tucillo, who spoke during the “Monitoring the Global Market Locally” session at the conference.

“International buyers are an important part of the Florida market,” says Tucillo. “Nearly one out of every five home purchases in Florida from June 2011 to June 2012 was by an international buyer. REALTORS® have recognized this trend, and many are developing special expertise in serving international clients, bringing even more value to the real estate transaction for these buyers.”

To help REALTORS® serve this growing population, NAR offers a Certified International Property Specialists designation; in fact, 450 REALTORS® will be awarded the CIPS designation just this week during the conference. The conference also marks the one-year anniversary of REALTOR.com®/International, which currently includes 1.5 million active international listings across 33 countries; translations for seven languages are also available on the site.

Approximately 1,500 people from outside the U.S. are expected to attend this year’s conference – that’s approximately seven percent of all conference attendees. During Global Day on November 9, translations of various conference sessions were available in Spanish, French, Portuguese and Chinese.

On Saturday, November 10, International Night Out recognized NAR members and REALTOR® associations who have been influential in the global real estate space. The Global Business Council Achievement Program also recognized its Platinum, Gold and Silver recipients. GBCs create programs, education and professional networking opportunities to help REALTORS® successfully market to and work with immigrant communities, foreign investors, education buyers and other globally sourced buyer groups in their local markets. There are currently 99 GBCs in 20 states and the Philippines.

For more information, visit www.realtor.org.

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