Ian Schrager Eyes South Florida for More Hotel Development

By Sunny Isles Real Estate Expert on October 12th, 2015

Ian Schrager Miami

The name Ian Schrager should be familiar to you if you have any interest in the real estate business. The American entrepreneur is a renowned real estate developer and hotelier credited with co-creating the idea of the boutique hotel. You might also know him as the cofounder of Studio 54, one of the most famous clubs in New York History. The real estate mogul now has his eyes set on the sunny skies and warm beaches of South Florida, with good reason.

The Potential of South Florida

He believes that South Florida is the perfect place for more new hotels, and he’s right. Right now, he’s looking into creating several different hotels in the area, as he feels that the market is strong and that the hotels would be able to thrive in the area. In fact, he says that this is just the “beginning of a renaissance”, as more and more people are falling in love with what Miami and the surrounding areas, such as Fort Lauderdale, have to offer.

He’s certainly no stranger to hotels in the area, having opened the Miami Beach Edition less than a year ago. What he wants to do now is bring a hotel to North Beach, as well as a new location for an Edition that’s a bit further north. Schrager recently spoke as the keynote speaker at the National Association of Real Estate Editors’ 49th Annual Real Estate Journalism Conference and announced that he still had plenty of plans for South Florida.

While Miami is certainly a popular spot for hotels, he realizes that there is far more to South Florida than just Miami. He’s also interested in Broward County and Fort Lauderdale, and believes that an Edition would do very well there eventually. However, he also said that he had been looking for a location in the area but ended up having to pass. That’s not to say that he will not be looking for other locations in the area in the future.

One of the other areas he’s mentioned considering includes St. Petersburg, and he says that he’s not limited to just one or two locations. In fact, he’s working on hotels in places such as China and India as well. Still, Florida is a major focus.

More Than a Bed

Something that helps to set Schrager apart from so many other hoteliers is the fact that he feels that a hotel’s job is to do more than just provide a place for the guest to sleep. It’s about providing the visitor with an experience that they will enjoy. This includes things such as great dining and entertainment right at the hotel. He wants to make sure that his buildings also incorporate new technology to help improve the visitor’s experience even further.

Home Price Increases in Miami Slow Over The Summer

By Sunny Isles Real Estate Expert on October 10th, 2015

Miami homes for sale

Over the past several years, Miami real estate professionals have seen some massive growth in the home prices in Miami. However, as with any increase in this business, there comes a time when things start to stabilize, and it looks like that’s what is happening right now. The home prices from June 2015 are beginning to level off. This should not be seen as a bad thing at all. It’s a natural correction that the market needs to go through to remain on the right track. This ensures that the prices do not get to the point where the number of buyers is too limited, for example.

The price of homes in Florida has been rising steadily since the end of the downturn. The recovery period has been very good to Florida, as it has with many other states. In fact, many states in the country have seen a significant return to the strength of their real estate market. There have been steady increases in home prices for 40 months and counting.

What’s Happening to Slow Things Down?

Data shows that there is still growth; it just happens to be slower. Between May and August of 2015, there was a growth of 0.3%. Even though it is an increase, it is the lowest increase in the year so far.

In addition, the number of homes for sale in the area is starting to shrink. However, the number of buyers is certainly not shrinking. If anything, it is growing stronger. People are very excited about buying condo in Miami. They are simply finding fewer properties available, which could certainly lead to a seller’s market, and that could help to keep the prices where they are, or keep them rising at a slow pace.

While it is possible that the prices could increase significantly in a buyer’s market, we’re unlikely to see a big spike. As mentioned, the market is trying to correct itself right now. What is more likely to happen is that the increased demand for properties will encourage more sellers who have been on the fence to list their properties, knowing that they have a very good chance of selling quickly and of making a good return on their investment. This is slowly but surely getting people more interested in selling their properties in Miami.

What does it mean for buyers and sellers? It means that right now is probably a very good time to start looking for a property in South Florida. Since the prices are not getting out of hand, it is possible to find some quality properties. Just keep in mind that there are quite a few others out there doing the same thing, so you don’t want to get into a bidding war over a piece of property if you can help it. Look for properties that are new to the market. Though there are fewer homes available now than in the past, there are still plenty of options that might be just what you need.

Home Flipping Still Popular in Miami

By Sunny Isles Real Estate Expert on October 6th, 2015

Miami homes for sale

Years ago, the trend of buying and flipping houses was extremely popular. There were even a number of television shows dedicated to the practice. However, it doesn’t get quite as much attention today. That does not mean that it doesn’t exist though. In fact, Miami has the honor of being the city with the second most flips in the second quarter in the country. Just how many of the sales of single-family homes were flipped properties – 9.6% according to Realty Trac. The only city in the country with more was Fernley, Nevada, which had 11.6% o their home sales flipped.

Click here to view all Foreclosure condos for sale in Miami
Click here to view all Foreclosure houses for sale in Miami

What Is a Flip?

Flipping a property requires buying a property and then turning around and selling it for a profit, generally within the period of a year. In some cases, the buyers will purchase foreclosed or distressed properties and then put money into fixing them up as a means to increase the sale price. However, other times, people buy the home and rely on the upwards movement of the market to help increase the value of the home. In addition, a flip, at least according to the way Realty Trac records things, needs to be “arm’s length” to count in this percentage. This simply means that the buying and selling parties do not have any relationship to one another; it is a sale from one stranger to another.

In Miami-Dade and Broward County, there were 1,383 homes flipped just in the second quarter of 2015. While this might seem like a lot, it’s important to note that this is actually on a downward trend. Even though flipping does still happen, it is simply not as common as it once was. It is actually decreasing by 6.9% each year.

Data shows that the majority of the homes (more than 61% of them) were bought during a stage of foreclosure. The number of foreclosures in the area is actually starting to drop though, and this likely means that flipping will slow even further simply because there will be fewer of these properties available to buy.

Is Flipping a Good Idea?

One of the questions that potential home flippers often ask is whether they can actually make a profit or not. The answer is, as so often in the world of real estate, it depends. The average profit made across the nation is $70,696 (during the second quarter). However, this is not going to be the case with all flips, as it depends on a number of factors including the property and the market at the time. It is possible to make more or less. The flipper also needs to know how much they will be putting into renovation of the unit to ensure that a flip could actually help them earn money rather than simply burn it.

It’s a good idea for potential home flippers to be careful over the course of the next year or so. The price of homes is starting to stabilize, and this means that those profits might not be as high as they hope.

Second Quarter Sees Growth of Home Sales in Miami

By Sunny Isles Real Estate Expert on October 3rd, 2015

Miami real estate for sale

There is no question that Miami is one of the hottest cities when it comes to real estate, and it has been doing quite well every since the economy and the real estate market started to recover. They city and surrounding area has seen a nice increase in the number of sales, as well as the price of homes, in the second quarter of 2015 when compared with the previous year.

Miami Is Still the Place to Buy

During the second quarter (April, May, and June) of 2015, there were 3,913 homes sold in Miami. This number marks an increase of 7.2% over the same months in 2014. During that time, the median home price happened to go up as well. It rose 10.6% from $245,000 to $271,000. Normally, when the prices go up by more than 10%, you don’t see the number of sales go up as well. People tend to slow down and consider other areas. Of course, Miami doesn’t have that trouble at all.

People want to live in Miami, even if they might be paying more than they would have a year ago. The vibrant city, the proximity of the beach, and the fact that the real estate value has such a potential to keep rising is encouraging more and more people to buy in Miami. Some of the buyers are from the United States, but there are a number of foreign buyers as well. Canada and China are just two countries that have a lot of residents looking at Miami property.

Another thing to keep in mind is that the number of homes offered between last year and this year has remained about the same. Even though there is approximately the same number of homes on the market, the sales have picked up, and that means that buyers are going to be competing for properties. Naturally, this has the potential to push the prices higher, as it becomes a seller’s market.

Both buyers and sellers are confident in the market, and that is really helping to push the sales to the next level. Considering the fact that mortgage rates today are actually very low, and that the price of the homes, even though they’ve been rising, are still affordable for many buyers, and it is easy to see why the sales have been growing this year.

While the single-family homes have been doing very well, the sale of condominiums has slowed down slightly. According to reports, even though the sales prices for condos increased, the number of sales dipped by about 1.8%. New listings for condos dropped as well, but that certainly doesn’t mean condos are necessarily struggling.

The Miami condominium market is faring decently when compared with many other areas, and with the increased interest in Miami, it is possible that the sales will pick up between now and the end of the year. With all that Miami has to offer, it is no wonder the desire to live in the city is continuing to rise.

Hibiscus Island Popular with European Buyers

By Sunny Isles Real Estate Expert on October 1st, 2015

Hibiscus Island homes for sale

Beautiful Hibiscus Island has been a very popular location for luxury Miami waterfront homes for years, and that popularity is now crossing the pond. European buyers have been purchasing high-end multimillion dollar properties that are right on the water recently. Even though the value of the Euro is not as high as it once was, this has not really stopped the popularity of the Miami area. Buyers from Europe are still very interested in Miami homes, and they want nothing less than the best. That’s just what they are finding on Hibiscus Island.

Why Hibiscus Island?

Well, there is a lot to love about the island. Many of the lots are very large. One home that sold recently was a 5,643-square foot house that sits on a lot that’s 13,781 square feet. Another property offers a 4,251-square foot home on 15,750 square feet of land on the waterfront. Many of these homes are large and have massive properties. Those who are looking for larger properties that can offer a greater element of privacy tend to like this option.

They also love the fact that they have an ideal location. Those who live on the island are only a short distance from both Miami Beach and downtown Miami. It really is a perfect location. Since it’s on an island, it tends to be very safe. Getting around the area can be fast and simple, and the residents love the convenience. Whether they want to find entertainment in the downtown area or spend some time relaxing on the beach, it’s all very easy.

One of the interesting things about the properties on Hibiscus Island is the fact that the Europeans who are buying are not using them as investment properties that they will rent out. While it’s possible to charge a substantial amount for rentals on the island – some can fetch more than $40,000 a month – the buyers are looking for places that they can actually call home. They buy the property and become the end user. Some may want to make changes to the property and to develop it further with the goal of creating a true dream property.

More Buyers Are Looking at the Island

The Island has seen several large sales over the past couple of months, and as soon as property goes up for sale, you can be sure that it will have plenty of eyes on it. While the Europeans are some of the most prominent buyers, there are actually buyers from plenty of other locations that are falling in love with Hibiscus Island. The homes tend to be on the higher end of the pricing scale, but given their size, the land, and the amount of things that the buyers can do to upgrade the properties, which might not be possible with condominiums, makes the price well worth it. This is certainly one of the areas that you will want to watch if you are interested in the movement of real estate in the Miami area.

Will the Sunny Isles Beach Tax Rate Get Lower?

By Sunny Isles Real Estate Expert on September 28th, 2015

Sunny Isles Beach condos for sale

Taxes are the bane of most people in the country. Whenever the word tax is mentioned, most people bristle. They might be necessary, but no one likes them. Many times, when city policy makers convene to talk about taxes, they discuss ways that they can raise them. However, that’s not the case in Sunny Isles Beach. In fact, this is the fourth year in a rose that the city of Sunny Isles Beach is trying to lower the property tax rate.

The commission is proposing that they lower the tax rate to $2.50 for every $1,000 of taxable property value. This does not translate into a huge savings. Let’s look at some simple numbers to see how it would work. If a homeowner had a property that cost just $100,000, they would pay around $250 in property taxes. This is lower than what they would have paid a year ago, but only by a few dollars. It also depends on whether the owner qualifies for the homestead exemption, and how much the home’s value increased over the course of the previous year.

The city doesn’t want to raise the tax, which is nice, and most feel that the city will either lower them or keep them the same as they are currently. They are actually quite low compared to some other areas of the country.

Of course, many are also wondering what other effects this might have. When you lower taxes in one area, it often means that services will be affected in some way. In this case, some worry that the services the city offers would have less money and that this could cause issues with how the city operates. They administration says that this should not be a concern though, as the growth in other areas of the tax revenue has made it possible to keep the level and quality of services the same. They have enough coming in through taxes that they will not have to use any of their reserve funds either.

The city manager has also said that not only will the services remain the same, but they will actually be working to improve the quality of their services. This includes a large number of projects for the city in the upcoming years. Some examples include the Intracoastal Park system, Gateway Park, Sunny Isles Beach Civic and Senior Center, and a new school.

The city is very lucky compared with other towns across the country since they have the money needed to take care of projects that actually help to improve the city and the way of life in the community without overtaxing their residents.

Of course, everyone in the city may not agree with the assessments. To address this and to let the public know what’s happening, they are having a public hearing – September 24 at the City Hall. Those who live in the area and who are interested in what’s happening will want to attend.

Fort Lauderdale Sees Two Most Expensive Listings Ever

By Sunny Isles Real Estate Expert on September 24th, 2015

Fort Lauderdale homes for sale

For a while now, real estate professionals and developers have been saying that Fort Lauderdale is the next hot property location. It’s quickly becoming as popular as Miami, and the rise in prices in the area, along with the rise in interest, are evidence of this. In fact, two most recent listings in Fort Lauderdale were listed for a whopping $32 million, making it the most expensive homes in the area’s market… by quite a bit. The next home on the list is asking $25 million, and it is located in the same high-end area of Rio Vista.

What Do These Homes / Estate Offer?

Located at 1600 Ponce de Leon Drive in Rio Vista, the estate certainly does have plenty to love and even more to offer. It comes with 500 feet of waterfront space, along with two acres of gardens. It’s in a gorgeous location and the size of the property, along with the greenery, will help to give the residents a feeling of privacy that they might not be able to get elsewhere. The design of the estate certainly has a Georgian feel to it, and that’s no accident. The meticulous and beautiful garden design comes from Raymond Jungles, who has a reputation for taking landscape architecture to the next level.

Fort Lauderdale mansion for sale

The mansion, built in 2007, is 16,022 square feet and features eight bathrooms, three half baths, and eight bedrooms. It also sits on the largest piece of land in the city dedicated to a single-family home. The home also has a range of luxury features including a wine cellar, a clubroom, a guest house, a workshop, office, and a garage that can hold up to nine cars. One of the other interesting features of the home is that it’s next to the home of H. Wayne Huizenga, who used to own the Miami Dolphins.

Another one of the reasons that this mansion and estate can fetch such a high price is the location. Even though it has a feeling of being entirely private, it’s still part of the downtown area, and it is quite easy to get to many different locations quickly and easily. People will pay for this convenience, and when coupled with everything else that the mansion has to offer, it’s easy to see just why $32 million is not out of the question.

The second property is located at 5 Harborage Isle Dr and is positioned on 3 lots in the exclusive guard gated harborage isle development in Fort Lauderdale. This property was built in 2007 and just got listed on September 15th, 2015. It is over 17,000 square feet which comes to about $1,878 per square foot. It sits on a wide intracoastal waterways and offers immense city views. In addition, it offers dockage for a mega yacht of over 500 feet! The 6 bedrooms, 7 bathrooms estates features rotunda entry, double staircase, elevator, imported marble, onyx & hardwood flooring throughout, 24 feet floor-to-ceiling windows, 5 fireplaces, wine room, bar, home theater, office, gym, tennis court, cabana, summer kitchen, infinity pool & more. This is a must see if you’re looking for that caliber home.

Fort Lauderdale estate for sale

The real estate market in Fort Lauderdale has gotten a lot stronger as it is today. The number of homes selling for more than a million dollars keeps on rising year after year. In today’s market, there is a much better chance of selling the super high-end properties at these prices.

Click HERE to view all currently available homes for sale in Fort Lauderdale.

Fort Lauderdale Rivaling Miami in Real Estate Popularity

By Sunny Isles Real Estate Expert on September 21st, 2015

Fort Lauderdale pre-construction condos for sale

We all know that Miami has been the hotspot when it comes to real estate in Florida. Buyers love the varied properties, the proximity of the water, the culture, and the never-ending stream of entertainment and activities in the area. However, many developers and realtors have been very excited about Fort Lauderdale real estate, and they’ve said that it is quickly becoming a rival to Miami. Now that One Sotheby’s International Realty released their mid-year report, we can see that it’s not just hyperbole. The area is indeed becoming a popular location for buyers, as well as an increase in prices in certain areas, such as East Las Olas.

The Rise of Fort Lauderdale Real Estate

Realtors are very excited about all of the possibilities that Fort Lauderdale holds, and they’ve even gone on to say that they believe other areas of Broward County are in for similar types of growth. Just looking at the market for the waterfront condominiums located in Las Olas, you can see that it is up more than 23% from last year. Just a year ago, the price per square foot of these condos was sitting at $442. Today, it’s around $574 per square foot. It is not only this upscale area that has seen such a boost though. In fact, all around Fort Lauderdale, the market for condominiums has gone up by about 7% for the average price per square foot – $512 to $550 – in just a year.

A number of things are likely playing into the popularity of the area. First, there has been a substantial amount of construction happening. Some of the projects that have recently been completed include Adagio on the Bay and Cymbrinas. They also have a number of other condominium projects that have gone up in the past decade, which have provided more options for those who want to live in the area.

Of course, there is also the location. Many of the properties are very close to the beach, or are right on the beach in a number of cases. When people think about moving to Florida, this is what they want, whether it is in Miami or Fort Lauderdale. Single family homes have also done quite well in the region, and around 10% of the homes sold have been luxury properties with prices tags ranging from $1 million to $5 million.

While the city of Fort Lauderdale and the surrounding area have been doing extraordinarily well this past year, it’s certainly not the only location in the county to be on the upswing. Some of the other neighborhoods including Southwest Ranches and Hillsboro Beach have seen growth in prices, as well as a growth in interest.

Even though the prices have certainly been on the rise, they are still in the affordable range. Naturally, being able to buy high quality properties that are still affordable is one of the main reasons that Fort Lauderdale and other communities in Broward County have been doing so well. It is likely this popularity will continue to increase.

Click HERE To check available properties for sale in Fort Lauderdale

Conrad Miami Offers a Great Investment Opportunity

By Sunny Isles Real Estate Expert on September 18th, 2015

Brickell City Centre Condo for sale

Conrad Miami is a luxury hotel in the heart of Miami’s Brickell neighborhood that features 203 units. Located at 1395 Brickell Avenue in Espirito Santo Plaza, the hotel is now up for sale, although there is not currently a listing price attached. It’s believed to be priced at over $120 million though, and given the potential of the property, a price that his is certainly not out of the question. The property offers 103 luxury condominiums, as well as retail space.

Some of the other features of the property include a spa and a gym, as well as 20,000 square feet of areas specifically for meetings. In addition, it offers the Atrio Restaurant and The Bar at Lvl 25. Those who live or stay in the property will also be able to enjoy two tennis courts located outside, as well as a whirlpool and a pool located on the roof.

It’s all of these features that make potential visitors interested in the property, and it is that potential that is driving the interest from the investors. They see that the hotel has a lot of potential. It’s in a great area and the economy of Miami is continuing to grow stronger. Investing in this building could be a very smart move, as you will see.

Why Is the Hotel a Great Investment?

For starters, it is more than a hotel. It has retail opportunities as well, which means leasing opportunities for the owner. Also, consider the hospitality market in the Miami area. People love Miami and flock to it for vacations, work, and more. When people visit, they want to stay in the best possible locations and properties, and they are willing to pay a premium to stay at a luxury hotel such as Conrad Miami.

The commercial properties in the Brickell area have relatively high prices because of the potential that they offer. It was only a couple of months ago that an office building in the area (777 Brickell) went to investors from Brazil for $140 million. Investors who are looking for great properties and who are willing to pay for them are not rare in today’s world. The investors who bought the office building at 777 Brickell were from Brazil, and you’ll find that a large number of investors are from out of the country. Latin America, as well as China and parts of Europe have a number of investors who are very interested in the Miami area.

They can see the potential that the area has to bring in a good return on their investment, and they are snapping up properties as quickly as they can. While $100 million may seem like a lot of money, for investors and investment groups, it is easily feasible, and you can be relatively sure that this hotel will not stay on the market for too long. The only question is who the buyer might be and how much they will finally end up paying for the property.

Soon after this announcement last week, Dallas, Texas-based Gaedeke Group has purchased the Espirito Santo Plaza in the Brickell Financial District for $142 million, Miami-Dade County records show.

Estoril Inc. sold the 36-story office building at 1395 Brickell Avenue. EXAN Capital was marketing the property. It was developed in 2004 and spans 659,753 square feet, according to Miami-Dade property records.

In June, Gaedeke announced plans to invest $300 million in “larger office properties exclusively in primary markets.” The full service real estate firm, which has regional offices in West Palm Beach, also closed a $65 million mortgage from JPMorgan Chase, records show.

EXAN’s Juan Jose Zaragoza and Juan Arcila worked on the deal, a spokesperson told The Real Deal. There was no listing price, “but we were obviously aware of what’s going on in the market,” the spokesperson said.

Not included in the acquisition was the Conrad Miami, which is on site. The hotel was listed for sale earlier this year and expected to sell for more than $100 million. CBRE is marketing the luxury 203-key hotel.

“There is enough capital interested in acquiring Brickell Avenue office properties for each property to sell many times over,” Chris Lee, vice chairman of CBRE Capital Markets told The Real Deal. “It is among the most difficult markets in the world for a buyer to win a deal.”

The property is in the heart of Brickell, near Brickell City Centre, which when completed will include a 500,000-square-foot shopping component, two condominium towers, two Class A office buildings, and its EAST, Miami Hotel. Check out available commercial real estate in Miami here

In February, the 13-story SunTrust office building at 777 Brickell sold to Brazilian investors for $140 million.

Brickell City Centre to Add Valentino and Chopard

By Sunny Isles Real Estate Expert on September 16th, 2015

Brickell City Centre Condo for sale

Since its inception, Brickell City Center has had a reputation for getting high quality, upscale retailers onto the property. The 500,000-square foot shopping center is set to add two more powerhouses to its lineup – Valentino and Chopard. Valentino is an Italian fashion house, while Chopard is a Swiss jewelry and watch designer. Both of these stores will be on the first floor of the building which is accessible from the street.

According to reports, Valentino will have 1,800-square feet of space, and Chopard will have 1,500-square feet of space. While they haven’t announced all of the stores that will be in the building, you can be sure that there will be plenty of other luxury shops and boutiques.

The Importance of Luxury at Brickell City Centre

The stores at the shopping center are luxury stores without a doubt, and they are not the types of stores that you will find in most local malls. Why does the area feel the need to have luxury stores? It’s a simple matter of economics. Brickell, and many parts of Miami for that matter, have some very wealthy residents and visitors that expect nothing less than the best. Brickell City Centre is striving to meet the needs and demands of their customer base, and that’s why they are adding these types of stores.

Many of the area shoppers have second homes in Miami – high value homes at that. So they expect to find luxury brands when they are shopping. Brickell also happens to be part of the financial district in Miami, so it simply makes sense to have these types of stores in the area.

Miami is starting to become known as a destination for luxury shopping. Other popular shopping spots, such as Bal Harbour Shops, have done well enough in recent years that they are considering expanding. People in the area are already excited about the benefits that this center can bring, including more jobs, which can help the overall economy in the area.

What Else Will Brickell City Centre Offer?

It’s already been established that Saks Fifth Avenue will be the anchor of the shopping center. However, there will be quite a few other shops and amenities in the building as well. They will have a dine-in movie theater, which will be on the fourth floor of the building. In addition, there will be a hotel, two office buildings, and two condo towers that are a part of Brickell City Centre. These should all be open by the end of 2015 if everything goes according to plan.

The shopping center doesn’t open until late 2016, but this will give the developers enough time to make sure they have all of the spaces leased to the best quality businesses that makes the most sense for their clientele.

It’s still too early to know all of the shops that will make their home in Brickell City Centre (SEE SITE HERE). It will be interesting to keep watch and see what other stores they will add over the course of the coming months.