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MIAMI International Real Estate Congress Attracts Foreign Delegates, Industry Speakers

Teresa King Kinney - Magel Award Winner
Teresa King Kinney - Magel Award Winner

The MIAMI Association of REALTORS® (MIAMI) and the Greater San Diego Association of REALTORS® (SDAR) co-presented the 21st annual International Real Estate Congress on Nov. 8-11 in Miami and San Diego. About 50 foreign delegates from 15 different countries networked and collaborated with more than 400 U.S. and foreign real estate professionals in both cities.

“The 2015 International Real Estate Congress brought together a dynamic list of local and national industry speakers as well as international delegates from some of MIAMI’s 136 foreign partner associations,” said Teresa King Kinney, the chief executive officer of MIAMI. “The vast number of countries and delegates in attendance in Miami underscores South Florida’s position as a center for international real estate investment. Sharing this year’s event with San Diego, another top international destination, added a unique opportunity for our U.S. and international partners.”

The Miami event, held Nov. 8-10 at the Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables, featured foreign delegates from Spain, France, Ecuador, Brazil, El Salvador, Peru, Costa Rica and Argentina. The San Diego event, held Nov. 10-11 at the Hard Rock Hotel, had international delegates from Russia, United Kingdom, Brazil, Japan, Mexico, Costa Rica and Bulgaria.

New 2015 MIAMI Profile of International Home Buyers
Kinney revealed initial findings from the 2015 MIAMI Profile of International Home Buyers, prepared annually for MIAMI by the research division of the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR).

In 2015, international home transactions accounted for 22 percent of all South Florida residential sales. Florida (12 percent) and the U.S. (4 percent) had lower shares of international home transactions. Miami-Dade County had 70.4 percent of all South Florida international home sales in 2015. Broward posted 25.2 percent, while Palm Beach and Martin counties had 3.9 and 0.4 percent, respectively. South Florida international home sales accounted for $6.1 billion in dollar value in 2015.

The complete survey will be released by MIAMI in early 2016.

Miami: “The Financial Capital of the Southern Hemisphere”
Miami-Dade County’s diversified economy, continued population increase and thriving downtown were key themes at the 2015 Congress. Jonathan Smoke, chief economist for, discussed Miami’s strong economy and falling unemployment rate. Miami-Dade County’s unemployment rate has fallen consistently since the recession and sits at 5.9 percent, according to recent state figures.

Hedge funds, private equity, and venture capital companies are relocating to Miami because of its strong startup network, reputation for aggressive development and multilingual population. Personal finance website Wallet Hub recently ranked Miami as the second-fastest growing economy among large U.S. cities.

“There is no question Miami is becoming the financial capital of the southern hemisphere,” Smoke told 2015 Congress attendees.

Downtown Miami is one of the county’s top submarkets. Congress panelists discussed how downtown has become one of the fastest-growing residential districts in the U.S. Downtown Miami boasts the highest concentration of cultural institutions in the Southeast, almost 400 restaurants and bars, and three megaprojects. The 9-acre Brickell City Centre and the 27-acre Miami Worldcenter plan to bring major retail, residential and hospitality uses to downtown. All Aboard Florida aims to transform South Florida transit with rail connecting downtown Miami, Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach and Orlando.

Miami Public Schools among Best in Nation
Alberto Carvalho, superintendent of Miami-Dade County Public Schools (MDCPS), provided great statistics regarding the strength and unique quality of local public education. MDCPS, the country’s fourth-largest district, outperformed its other big city peers in the recently-completed National Assessments of Educational Progress, posting higher than average scores in most categories.

“Communities with great schools create job development, sustain a good economy, and create and support a strong real estate market,” Carvalho told 2015 Congress attendees.

International Market Presentations
Delegates from Brazil, France, Costa Rica and Spain provided market presentations on their respective countries on the second day of the MIAMI Congress. More than 75 members attended the optional session at the Biltmore Hotel, where U.S. and foreign real estate professionals continued their networking and collaboration.

San Diego Congress Attracts Big Crowd
More than 280 U.S. and foreign real estate professionals attended the San Diego portion of the MIAMI International Real Estate Congress.

Dr. Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist for the National Association of REALTORS®, San Diego Congressman Scott Peters, Unified Port of San Diego Vice Chairman Marshall Merrifield, San Diego Airport Authority Chairman of the Board Robert Gleason and Nathan L. Moeder, the Principal of the London Group were featured speakers.

San Diego also hosted a global showcase panel, where experts discussed opportunities and challenges for investment in their respective countries.

For PDFs or video of the 2015 Congress presentations, visit:

For a photo gallery from the 2015 Congress, visit:

The 2016 MIAMI International Real Estate Congress will be held Oct. 31- Nov. 1, 2016 at the Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables. Congress activities begin Oct. 26, 2016 and end Nov. 2, 2016. Registration includes chartered transportation from Miami to the 2016 NAR Conference & Expo in Orlando as well as property tours and programming in Broward, Palm Beach and Martin counties. Visit:

About the MIAMI Association of REALTORS®
The MIAMI Association of REALTORS® was chartered by the National Association of Realtors in 1920 and is celebrating 95 years of service to Realtors, the buying and selling public, and the communities in South Florida. Comprised of six organizations, the Residential Association, the Realtors Commercial Alliance, the Broward Council, the Jupiter Tequesta Hobe Sound (JTHS) Council, the Young Professionals Network (YPN) Council and the award-winning International Council, it represents more than 41,000 real estate professionals in all aspects of real estate sales, marketing, and brokerage. It is the largest local Realtor association in the U.S., and has official partnerships with 136 international organizations worldwide. MIAMI’s official website is

About Greater San Diego Association of REALTORS®
The Greater San Diego Association of REALTORS® is the largest trade association in San Diego County. They help their members, who adhere to a code of ethics and professional standards, sell more homes. They also help people realize the dream of home ownership, and are dedicated to protecting private property rights. Follow SDAR on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

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