With the coronavirus pandemic and the devaluation of the real, the dream of living in the USA weighed on the pockets of Brazilian businessmen who had moved to spend long periods in Florida.
Contrary to what happened until 2019, international moving companies, like IMT Logistics, have seen a 60% increase in return flow to Brazil. Tiago Moreira, president of the company, recalls that “it was fashionable to spend a sabbatical in the USA with real income and a student visa.” “Today, that doesn’t happen anymore.”
According to Moreira, the movement, which began in the first half of 2020, is led by entrepreneurs aged 45 to 55 who have gone to the United States with their families to “fulfill the dream of living in America.”
With the restrictions imposed due to the virus and the rise of the dollar, which appreciated by almost 30% compared to the actual in 2020 – from R $ 4.014 at the end of 2019 to R $ 5.189 in the same period last year – it has become expensive to maintain living standards in major Miami neighborhoods, such as Brickell and Key Biscayne Island.
Jacob Abdala, owner of Legacy Plus Realty, confirms the move. “These are small entrepreneurs who calculated an expense of around US $ 20,000 per month, which would cost between R $ 80,000 and R $ 90,000. Only that amount rose to R $ 120,000 or even more, and the account stopped closing. “
The budget was so heavy for this portion that even the return to Brazil underwent changes.
Moreira says that in normal times, customers opted for the exclusive change, with a cost of between 12 thousand US dollars (65 thousand reais, in the quote of this Friday 30) and 20 thousand US dollars (108 thousand reais), but , now the shared modality, from US $ 6,000 (R $ 32,000) to US $ 10,000 (R $ 54,000), has become the preferred one.
There is also another upward movement among Brazilian businessmen: that of the sale of properties in the United States, especially in Florida. In 2019, only 20% of Abdala’s Brazilian real estate clients expressed this wish. In 2020, the index rose to 50% and today 70% of owners want to sell.
Until then, Brazilians were, for the most part, known for their interest in the acquisition, taking second place in the state’s ranking of real estate buyers, according to a report by Florida Realtors, an association of real estate companies, published in February 2021.
At Elite Internacional Realty, which also operates in Florida, the scenario is the same: in the year 2020, 60% of Brazilians have sold their properties. The sudden interest is driven by a number of factors: lack of use of properties due to travel restrictions imposed by the pandemic, repatriation of money to take advantage of the high dollar and the local market, heated by migration from the north. in the south of the country, which made the time even more opportune to make a profit.
“Half took the money, and the other half left the money in the United States,” says Daniel Ickowicz, director of Elite. Abdala says that the share interested in repatriating profits among his clients is even greater: 70%.
The sale of real estate has boosted the activity of IMT which, in the second half of 2020, increased the number of storage sheds fivefold to be able to store the goods of clients who have sold houses and apartments in the south of the region. Florida.
“In the first half of 2020 the job was to take and ship, in the second the main demand was to store,” says Moreira, who has seen the company’s turnover grow by almost 50% by compared to 2019, although the number of changes from Brazil to the United States fell by 70% last year.
One of the Brazilians who hired moving services in Brazil, a business administrator who asked not to be identified, says he took the capital from the sale of the property to invest in both countries and , due to the fact that Brazil is much cheaper than the USA, chose to return to São Paulo.
He, who has lived in the Miami area for eight years, is investing in real estate and is considering turning the profit from reais into dollars in the hope that the US dollar will decline again “in a year or two.”
This hope is also nourished by other Brazilians who cultivate the dream of living in the USA, even if for the moment the plan remains in the field of ideas. Demand for real estate purchases in Florida by Brazilians has fallen 70% since the start of the pandemic, according to Legacy’s Abdala.
The Florida Realtors report confirms the decline: Brazilians’ share of the US real estate market fell from $ 3 billion in 2018 to $ 1.4 billion in 2020.
Since April 2020, the flow of tourists to the United States has fallen from 5 million per month to less than 500,000, according to the National Travel and Tourism Board (NTTO).
Among Brazilians, the reduction in 2020 was 41% compared to the previous year. The index, however, is expected to rise again, mainly thanks to the mass vaccination plan led by the Biden government.
In Florida, the total number of people vaccinated is approaching 9 million, which is about 40% of the state’s population, according to a report released Sunday (25) by the local health department.
The amount, however, does not discriminate against the number of vaccinated foreigners, who have visited the state in search of the immunizer. While vaccination is allowed for residents aged 16 and over, lack of documentation is not a barrier, primarily to not rule out the percentage of illegal immigrants residing in Florida.
Taking advantage of the relaxed inspection, with passport and address (borrowed) in hand, many Brazilians had to face a luxurious quarantine in Cancun or Costa Rica to enter the United States on a tourist visa and guarantee the dose of the vaccine.
The most recent celebrity case is that of singer Anitta, who has a temporary residence in Miami and said she has already been vaccinated. We are a family business.