Sunny Isles Beach Panorama

We could all do with more global collaboration and less warmongering, but finding a bright spot on the world’s stage has been tough to do in recent months. However, there are uplifting moments of collaboration and a coming together for mutual benefit still happening, even if they’re overshadowed by other, less humanity-benefiting occurrences. One such event was the meeting between Mayor Miriam Feirberg-Ikar of Netanya, Israel and the Mayor Norman Edelcup of Sunny Isles Beach and his delegation.

About the Meeting

While not a national summit, the meeting between Eastern and Western representatives yielded perhaps more international good will and achieved better results than many political meetings. The purpose of the meeting was to help leaders of both cities share methods of promoting education, art and culture to their residents that have worked in the past. As such, both cities had interesting things to bring to the table.

The core of the meeting centered on two foundations – the City of Sunny Isles Beach Foundation and the Netanya Foundation. Each foundation has a mission to solicit funds from private donors to help improve life in their respective cities through social, educational and cultural programs.

Netanya Israel

About the Cities

Netanya, Israel and Sunny Isles Beach are actually sister cities, formalized with an official union back in 2007. The two mayors have met each other twice now. The first was during the union ceremony, and the meeting in question was the second time. Both mayors have served their respective cities for over a decade, and have a lot of knowledge and experience to share with one another. It wasn’t limited to mayoral discussion, though. Both mayors had a full delegation of experts that shared information and methods to help improve the lives of the other city’s residents.

While the two cities are worlds apart in terms of geographic location, they’re very close in terms of attributes, attitudes and even physical geography. Both share warm waters and lovely beaches, and both are rich in cultural diversity. Both share the moniker “Riviera” as well – Netanya is the Israeli Riviera, while Sunny Isles Beach is the Riviera of Miami.

Click Here to research Sunny Isles Beach real estate for sale


Miami real estate

Real estate loans in South Florida have traditionally been large – they have to be to accommodate the price of property in Miami-Dade and the surrounding counties. However, those loans are getting larger. The biggest banks in SoFla are now routinely offering real estate loans 10% larger than previous financing packages, marking another year of significant growth for SoFla.

A Look at the Growth

In 2014, the 15 largest banks in South Florida managed to expand their real estate loan portfolios by over 10%, the FDIC reports. This growth wasn’t relegated to Miami-Dade County alone. Broward and Palm Beach counties also saw significant growth. Most of the growth occurred in increased loan volume through acquisitions. However, there’s also organic growth occurring in the market. It’s not all about acquisitions. New residents and new businesses are steadily streaming into South Florida. In total, the loan expansion included construction and land development packages, as well as multifamily, residential and commercial mortgage loans. (Click here to research Miami real estate)

The Largest Increases

While the 10%+ increase was across all 15 of SoFla’s biggest banks, not all financial institutions saw the same growth. The single largest increase came from Florida Community Bank, based in Weston, FL. FCB experienced a 55% jump in loan amounts, going from $1.6 billion in 2013 to $2.4 billion in 2014. Part of that growth stemmed from FCB’s $596 million acquisition of Great Florida Bank of Coral Gables.

Another high performer was Stonegate Bank out of Fort Lauderdale, which saw a 54.5% increase in real estate loans (rising past the $1 billion mark from just over half a million the year before). SBoFL acquired Florida Shores Bancorp, as well as that company’s subsidiaries to add $555 million.

Capital Bank, based in the city of Miami but also serving Tennessee, as well as North and South Carolina, also added to its success. It purchased $46 million in residential mortgages to create a 5-year total of $4.7 billion.

Where the Rejuvenation Starts

The growth in loans has been significant, just short of staggering. There are several attributable factors here, but one of the major ones is the creation of the Brickell City Centre (Click here to view the project), which BankUnited’s Florida president said was one of the hotspots in the area fueling his bank’s growth and success. Others point to the approval of the creation of Miami Worldcenter, as well as Miami SkyRise and other high-profile developments in town.

However, it’s not all about new projects. There’s also less leverage out there, which banks have cited as creating a healthier financial market in the first place. “Florida is back,” stated BankUnited’s Florida president, Thomas Cornish. A quick look at the various industries served by the 15 largest banks in SoFla certainly seems to hold up that assertion, with residential mortgages increasing by almost 12%, commercial real estate loans growing by 12.3% and multifamily loans growing by 6.7%.

All in all, 2014 has been a banner year for Florida’s banks, but also for homebuyers, construction companies and businesses of all types.


Brickell City Center Condos

Cinemex is a celebrated company founded in Mexico. It’s long eyed potential locations in the US, but until now, it has not opened any cinemas north of the border. Today, all that changes as Cinemex and Brickell City Centre jointly announced that the firm would open its first US location in the mixed-use project located right in Miami.

About the Development

The new development will consist of almost 36,000 square feet of dine-in cinema. The property is expected to open in 2016, and Cinemex will partner with Chef Mikel Alonso (the name behind Biko), and Mica Rousseau of Mexico City mixology fame. Within the 36,000 square feet will be 11 viewing rooms and a total of 622 seats. The design and construction work for the project will be handled by Miami’s own Loguer Design.

About Cinemex

Cinemex is the world’s sixth largest cinema chain. The company’s focus here is to “bring the success of Cinemex to downtown Miami,” according to one of the firm’s VPs. Brickell City Centre makes the ideal setting for this type of establishment, and its interesting combination of film and food. Cinemex joins a growing number of businesses that have agreed to anchor the $1.1 billion Brickell City Centre project, including Saks Fifth Avenue.

Far from the Only Project

The Brickell City Centre project might be one of the most visible in the city of Miami, but it’s far from the only one. There are numerous others, including the proposed Worldcenter, which would occupy 17 acres of downtown Miami real estate and create an estimated 18,000 jobs. The development would contain a massive shopping mall, a huge convention center, a hotel with almost 2,000 rooms, and a new luxury condo development in addition to numerous bars, nightclubs, restaurants and more.

What It Means for Investors

Miami’s real estate is red hot at the moment, and most of south Florida is actually in the midst of a real estate boom, unlike many other areas of the country. The addition of Cinemex to the Brickell City Centre is just another feather in Miami’s cap, and another reason that real estate values continue to rise. As the city reinvents itself into one of the world’s top destinations for vacationers and hopeful residents of all types, those values will continue to increase. This benefits areas beyond just Miami downtown area, including South Beach, Bal Harbour, Sunny Isles and many others as well.


Miami real estate for sale

The real estate investment market in the US has undergone some significant shifts over time. Back during the recession, it tanked right along with the residential real estate market. It’s improved since then, as have most residential markets around the country. However, not all areas have experienced the same resurgence. For investors, that means it’s more important than ever before to choose the right area. Low entry prices aren’t the only thing to look for, and can actually be a sign that a market isn’t as healthy as it could be. More and more, investors are turning to South Florida, and to Miami in particular. Why is that?

Natural Advantages

One of the reasons for Florida’s rank as the top real estate market in the country is that it is rich in natural resources. It’s an undeniably beautiful place, whether you relish sitting on the beach, hitting the links or exploring untamed wilderness. There are swamps, hills, beaches, well-developed urban areas and more. It’s also warm year round, which makes it a natural destination for those who don’t enjoy the cold.

Man-made Attractions

In addition to the natural beauty and splendor of the state, you’ll find that it’s rich in human development. We touched on some of those above, but you’ll find much more. The oldest European settlement in America is in Florida, and there’s a lot more here, from museums to art galleries, from shopping malls to entertainment venues. It’s easy to reach pretty much anything you might want to do from virtually anywhere in the state, too.

Why Miami Rules It All

When it comes to Florida’s real estate market (click here to research Miami real estate market) , you’ll find that the south is more popular than the north, and in South Florida, Miami and the greater Miami-Dade area are the undisputed rulers. What makes Miami such an incredible place? You name it – South Beach, Sunny Isles Beach, downtown Miami and the list goes on and on. From deep sea fishing charters to ultra-high end shopping and dining, it’s all here, and it’s all within easy reach. A short drive from Miami is the beauty and jetsetter atmosphere of South Beach. Head up the road a bit and you’ll be in Bal Harbour, or venture into Sunny Isles Beach, or any of the other communities that make up greater Miami.

In all of those areas, you’ll find that the real estate market is hot, and getting hotter by the day. Luxury condo properties are going up by the score (on top of the many already in existence). There’s also a significant influx of major corporations. You’ll find that Nokia, Kraft and HP all have a huge presence in the area, as does Oracle, Microsoft and more. That equates to jobs, certainly, but it also caters to an upwardly mobile, affluent crowd that’s eager to get into owning their own home and have a preference for luxury properties.
South Florida is the ideal option for real estate investment, and Miami is its crowning jewel.


Brickell City Center Condos for sale

Real estate projects go up all of the time in Miami, but few have the same level of public interest and investor interest that Brickell City Centre has. The tower has just about everything going for it, from location to a range of prices suitable for different buyers. Now that the units are finally going on sale, they are selling briskly.

What Do They Cost?

One of the questions on the mind of every interested buyer is just how much he or she will have to pay for a unit. Fortunately, the units and prices at the tower run the gamut, and they should appeal to people of different means and budgets. While the prices for the units vary, the one-bedrooms tend to fall into the $580K to $700K range. While the larger, two-bedroom units will sell for between $700K and $1 million. (Click here to view currently available units at Brickell City Centre for sale)

The tower does have a number of larger units available as well. The larger units, which typically will have between four and five bedrooms, have prices hovering around $2.15 million to $2.7 million. Prospective buyers with larger bank accounts will want to keep in mind that the tower will also have penthouse options. These large units will cost between $3 million and $8 million.

Location will factor into the price of the units greatly. While all of the units will have views, the ones higher up tend to have the better views. The higher the unit is in the tower the higher the price will be.

Construction Going Well

The presale phase of these condominiums is well underway, and they have been selling very quickly, which is making all those involved with the project quite happy. In fact, recent data shows that they have currently already sold about half of the available units in the tower.

The construction phase is going well too, and they believe that the first residential units to open up for actual occupancy should occur in the latter part of 2015, or at the latest by January of 2016.

Buyers Have Plenty of Options

Those who are looking into buying these units, and those who already bought a unit, will find that they have a range of options on what they can do with the property. While many owners will want to use the unit as their primary residence thanks to the location and the quality of the features and amenities in the unit and building, others may choose to use them only as a vacation home. Still others might want to buy the property as an investment and actually rent it out to out of town vacationers. The great location and the thriving neighborhood make this a perfect building for just about anything.

As mentioned, these units are moving very quickly, and those who have been on the fence about getting a property in the South Florida area will want to act fast if this was a building they were considering. Fortunately, even if these do sell out, more great units in other towers in the area are just around the corner.


Miami Beach condos for sale

According to recent reports, the pocket listings, or off the market listings, in the South Florida region have gone up quite a bit over the past year. In fact, they’ve risen by about ten percent in that time. One reason for this is simply that people want to have more privacy when selling and they feel that it can offer less of a hassle. Pocket listings may work well in some situations, as evidenced by this increase, but they may not always be the right solution.

What Are Pocket Listings?

For those who are new to the real estate term, a pocket listing is simply the phrase used for a listing that is not in the MLS. This often happens because clients want to have a bit more privacy when they are selling a home. This type of listing often happens when the sellers have luxury properties for sale. They want to have more secrecy and privacy when it comes to their viewings, as well as negotiations. Ultimately, it is a marketing decision, but it is not always to the benefit of the seller.

What sellers really need to remember when they choose a pocket listing is that they are limiting the pool of eligible and potential buyers. While this might seem like a smart move since it focuses on getting only the buyers who have a real interest in the property, and it makes the showings easier, it could affect the price. With a smaller number of buyers, it can limit the price potential for the seller in some cases.

Additionally, brokers will have to beware of sellers and buyers who might not be willing to sign a contract with them, essentially pushing them out of the deal once they have the contacts they need. There is also a chance that the seller could back out on the deal or might decide to raise the price. Some feel that the increase in pocket listings could have another negative effect on the market for agents though. It becomes difficult for appraisers and agents to get real comps for properties they are selling in the area.

Of course, in some cases, this type of sale really is the best option. Consider those sellers who have true luxury properties. They do not want to open their home up to the public. They know they need to have a certain type of buyer with a certain amount of money, and opening the home up to everyone who wants to come through and “take a look” will bring them nothing but headaches.

Discuss It with a Broker

Those who are selling their properties and who are considering a pocket listing should actually take the time to talk to their broker about the possibility. Brokers and agents will have the experience to let the seller know whether going with a pocket listing really would be a good idea for their property or not. They have the experience to help sellers with the decision.

Our office has several pocket listings in the Sunny Isles Beach area as well as Miami Beach (view Sunny Isles listings for sale here). Please feel free to contact us regarding our pocket listings.


Sunny Isles Real Estate

Everyone in real estate remembers the “good old days” of the pre-recession era, when the prices of homes were high and developers and realtors were able to sell home after home. It seemed as though there would be no end to the golden days. Of course, everyone knows what happened next. The perfect storm of bad things started to come together. This stew of trouble really hit in 2007, and the real estate market has still not entirely returned to form. While things are getting better, there is still a long ways to go, as you will see.

First, it’s important to look at what caused that initial downfall back in 2007. In fact, it was the aforementioned stew, or blend, of issues that helped to tear down the real estate market.

What Caused the Fall?

One of the first problems was the fact that the banks seemed willing to lend to nearly anyone who wanted to buy a home. It seemed like a great time for anybody to buy property, but it turned out that many people bought without understanding their contracts. They bought more than they could afford and when the real recession hit, they couldn’t pay. The economic downfall coupled with the issues of properties being more expensive than people could actually afford was too much.

Everything fell apart, and it took years before things even started to get close to normal. In fact, we still did not reach those pre-recession prices. According to Zillow, the value of property in some parts of South Florida is still about 36% lower than what the prices were at their height in 2006. Other parts, of course, like Miami and Sunny Isles Real Estate (click to see Sunny Isles properties here). They also go on to say that, according to the current growth rate and patterns, they will not return to that high until sometime in 2019.

South Florida hit their low mark in 2011. Fortunately, there was a huge turnaround in 2012 and 2013. However, even though they did help the counties of Palm Beach, Broward, and Miami-Dade to recover quite a bit, the increases have started to slow. While there is certainly still interest in the area, the interest does not seem to be as “fast and furious” as it had been. This could be due to the home prices starting to go back up.

Slower Growth Might Be Good

Is the slower growth really a problem though? The speed at which the market prices rose before was a part of the problem. By growing slower, and growing at a natural rate, it may actually end up being a much safer and stable place to invest in the end. However, this does mean that many of the homeowners who are already in homes they bought a year or so ago will want to stay in their homes for at least three of four more years so they can get back to the breakeven point. Still, this is far less time when compared to how long it will take full recovery to reach many other areas of the country that had far more of a severe real estate drop.

Overall, the projections are very positive with real estate in South Florida as well as the rest of the country continue to flourish and appreciate, which means that now is still a great time to buy real estate.


Miami Beach Homes For Sale

According to data coming straight from S&P/Case-Shiller, the prices for homes in the Miami region have been on the rise. In fact, the price of homes rose by 13.2% between May of 2013 and May of 2014. They show that there has been relatively stable and steady growth over the past year of more than one percent each month. While they are strong, it is important to take a realistic look at the growth, and to realize that it is slowing over what it has been the past couple of years.

Is Slowing a Bad Thing?

It is important to remember that just because the growth rate is slowing down a bit in Miami and other areas, that’s not always a bad thing. The growth hasn’t been stagnated. This means that even though it’s somewhat slower, the prices still appreciate but at a slower rate. In fact, the city and surrounding area is doing better than the rest of the United States in respect to the home price increases. It is important to keep this in mind.

Something else that is important to remember is that a beginning of a slow down period for the real estate market at this time is natural. It went through a recent big recovery phase, and now that things are getting back to normal, having slightly slower price increases is predictable. It is actually a good thing, as it ensures that the market does not get into a “buuble” like state, which is what happened seven years ago.

Will the Homes Ever Reach Record Highs Again?

While it’s impossible to predict the future, one has to think about where the city of Miami, as well as the United States will be financially in the upcoming years. It is also important to consider what will happen in all of the other countries with foreigners who like investing in Miami properties. If those countries have their own financial issues, as Argentina is going through right now, then it could put a bit of a damper on the sales. It all depends on a wide range of different factors.

However, experts in the field, not to mention the developers and realtors who are working in Miami, have a great feeling about the state of real estate in the South Florida. They feel that within about six years, the prices of homes should be about the same as they were before the recession. It just takes time to recover entirely, but it is inevitable.

Consider just how much money and effort so many developers are putting into completing their current properties and building new properties all around South Florida. Since they are building these new properties, and they have presales, it shows that people still have quite an interest in buying properties in the area. With all of the projects coming up in the next couple of years, it really does not seem as though the Miami real estate market is in any trouble at all. It’s just a matter of time before full recovery.


Baltus Condo Miami

There is busy, and then there is busy like the Related Group gets busy! In the span of a three-hour period in late July, 2014, the developer did something that other companies could only dream of doing. They began construction on three new condos in Miami. At the same time, they entered the presale phase for yet another high-rise in downtown Miami. If that weren’t enough, consider that this was just a week after they nearly finished work on two other towers in the area. These other towers, ICON Bay, a 43-story tower with 299 units and Baltus House, a 15-story complex with 167 units, are already extremely popular in the area.

The New Projects

Related Group held their groundbreaking ceremony in Brickell Heights to celebrate starting construction on a pair of towers in the area. One of the towers will have 46 stories, while the other will be slightly larger at 49 stories. Combined, they will have 696 units. The towers will be going up on the 800 block of South Miami Ave, along the west side of the avenue. They held their groundbreaking at 10AM on July 31.

Just an hour later, they hosted another groundbreaking ceremony. This new tower is the Paraiso Bay, and it will be 53 stories high and have 368 units. The tower will go up along the north side of Northeast 31st Street in the 600 block. It is important to note that this tower is just the first in what the Related Group hopes will be at least four in the Paraiso family of towers. They want to develop other towers between Northeast 31st and 32nd street, and they hope to have close to 1,400 units between all of these different towers. While these are not in the groundbreaking phase yet, it’s a good way to get an idea of what Related Group plans to do and how rest is certainly not on their schedule.

Approximately an hour after the Paraiso Bay groundbreaking, they will start their presale phase for another of the towers in Paraiso. Paraiso Bayviews will have 44 stories and 388 units. The actual build phase of this project will likely begin sometime in early 2015.

Always Busy

This type of activity is nothing new for the Related Group. They have always been very active when it comes to building new properties in the area. Right now, they have plans for a large number of new towers – at least 34 – between themselves and their partners. This will account for nearly 8,400 units. Already, they are responsible for around 24% of the units in the South Florida area. Take a moment to consider exactly how many units this is already and how many they will be adding in the coming years.

One thing is certain. The Related Group is one that is never satisfied to simply rest on their laurels, and they continually look for new opportunities. However, to remain successful, the company needs to continue doing well on all of their presales to hit their targets.


O Residences Bay Harbour

Bay Harbour Islands homes has always been popular when it comes to condominium developments. It has a wonderful location and plenty of fantastic features and amenities in the area, and it is little wonder that even more condo developments are in the works for the area in the near future.

More Developments on the Way

Recently a company from Miami called 9770 E. Bay Harbor Properties LLC bought up three lots in the area for $5.2 million. These three lots are quite large, with a combined 60,000 square feet. The lots are in a wonderful spot that’s very close to everything that residents and potential residents of Bay Harbour Islands have to offer.

Currently, the three lots each have small apartment buildings from the 1950s. These low rise residential units will eventually need to be torn down in order to make room for new buildings, if that is the route they choose to take. While many see the locations as prime spots for a new tower complex, it is still unclear just what the new owners will be doing with the property, as they have not made any announcements.

These areas are likely getting quite a bit of attention from condominium developers though. It’s a prime area and has the potential to bring in quite a bit of money if developed properly.

Bay Harbour Islands Is Always Impressive

People love Bay Harbour Islands, and the sales of condominium units on the islands have always been successful. It remains one of the most active and popular areas in South Florida when it comes to condo development. One of the reasons for this is the fact there are a substantial amount of land and properties available that are good choices for development.

The latest development boom in the area is proving to be very beneficial to developers eyeing Bay Harbour Islands. Currently, they are proposing at least 30 new towers for the area, which would bring in 1,350 units. This makes the area one of the fastest growing and most popular areas in all of South Florida.

Of course, with the big boom over the past couple of years, things have been going well through much of Florida. However, it’s still not quite clear whether there really will be enough buyers to purchase all of the new proposed units. Since there are so many options in South Florida for homes, the addition of even more units could actually slow home sales.

Still, the area is popular with more than just U.S. buyers who are looking for a new home or rental property. Many foreign buyers are looking to buy in the region as well, and having great properties that are so close to the water can help to accommodate all of the out of country buyers looking for vacation properties or investment properties. Right now, it seems as though it should not be too difficult to find enough buyers for the properties along Bay Harbour Islands and the surrounding communities.


Content published by Lana Bell

Content published by Lana Bell