Sunny Isles Oceanfront condos

According to the S&P Case-Shiller Home Prices Indices for January 2015, Miami real estate – view website had the second highest gain year over year in the last 12 months, with an 8.3% increase in home prices. Additionally, the city tied with San Diego and Charlotte for month-over-month increases, with .7% rises.

Year over Year Increases

S&P Case-Shiller provides both 10-City and 20-City Composites for year over year prices, and both saw increases for year over year numbers over December’s totals, with the 10-City showing an increase of 4.4% compared to December’s 4.3%. The 20-City Composite shows an increase to 4.6% compared to the previous 4.4% increase.

Month over Month Indices

The month over month indices, however, showed a decline of .1% with a majority of the cities showing no change. The report explained that the noticeable decline in cities such as San Francisco, which has a .9% decrease, and Washington, D.C., which had a .5% decrease, could have been due to the weather that was unseasonably wet and cold during the period.

Overall, there continue to be price gains across the housing market. While this is a major benefit that is likely led by an increase in consumer confidence, low inflation, cheap oil, and low interest rates, there are some difficulties in the housing market, as well.

Market Difficulties

The housing market still faces difficulties for a few different reasons, which include:

• Wage Deficit – While home prices are increasing, wages are not seeing the same growth. In fact, the home prices are rising at nearly twice the rate of average wages. This means that if the home prices continue on the same pace, without the wages catching up, would-be homebuyers will not meet the median income requirements to qualify for homes that meet their needs.
• Interest Rates – While the interest rates are currently low, the differences between wage and home price increases could cause problems. If the interest rates increase the slightest bit, it could result in a major setback as homebuyers are put under even more pressure.
• Residential Construction – New residential home construction has still not made it back to the pre-crisis peak, and the current level of one million is not comforting. Historically, any time prior to 2008 when these numbers were that low, the economy was suffering from a recession. Due to this, the new home sector is still considered weak, and this can present its own problems if there are changes in the future.

Miami developers are still seeing increases, which is a major bonus for them and the South Florida economy. However, one area that has shown some decreases is the sale of condos. While these numbers are still higher than previous years, there are some that believe that this sector may be reaching its peak. Time and future indices will tell, but for many in the Miami housing market, the future is still looking bright, and the area is expected to continue growing due to interest from foreign buyers.


Miami condo for sale

Miami-Dade County has become a hotspot for foreign buyers from all over the world, but the France is sitting in the top spot when it comes to European countries whose citizens are taking a very close look at what South Florida real estate (see website here) has to offer.

While France has taken notice of South Florida, realtors and developers have noticed the interest as well, and they are certainly playing into it. So much so, that ONE Sotheby’s International and Century 21 both use Janet Choynowski’s website Real-Buzz.com to translate their listings into French so that potential buyers can search for homes in their native language.

French Search Patterns

Choynowski, who has researched the nationalities using her site, has also tracked their search their patterns. What she discovered about the French searchers was that they are generally males that are interested in sports. Additionally, most of them also began their searches by checking out a few properties in California. After that, the searchers ended up looking at properties in Florida. Another interesting thing about those Florida searches: there were also more page views on properties in the area, as well.

US Interest

It isn’t a secret that foreigners have an interest in the US. After all, there is plenty to offer. However, the main draw from the searches revolves around the weather and waterfront. Warm sunny climates and waterfront locations garner more interest, and of those, South Florida is the hands down winner in France and among other international potential homebuyers.

Another part of the interest is based on the types of outdoor amenities that are offered by the properties. Paramount Miami Worldcenter, which is a current project that is being brokered by OneWorld Properties, is a location that caters to those desires. This condo tower is a total of 60 stories, and it will include a number of outdoor amenities, including pools, a running area, a soccer field, and tennis courts in the ninth floor recreation deck. Additionally, the floor will also be home to 12 two-story Balinese-style villas that are situated among water features and pools. The final outdoor space attraction is the outdoor living rooms that replace the traditional balconies.

Foreign buyers have shown interest in the Worldcenter, and currently, 15% of the total reservations made since sales launched have been European natives.

Euro Value

Another major consideration for European buyers is the value of their own euro, which is decreasing. When these buyers invest in properties or second homes in areas like South Florida, they are able to preserve their fortunes, despite the lowering in value of their own currency. As the interest in South Florida continues, it is also easy to see that these investments are lucrative, as home sale prices continue to increase, as do the number of home sales that are all cash. Again, a vast majority of these are buyers that are coming from all over Europe, and this is not a trend that is showing any signs of decreasing in the coming year.


Miami preconstruction condos

While Latin American investors have begun to decline in South Florida, there is a new player that is quickly emerging to take their place – China. In fact, their potential is so great that many firms are taking serious steps to accommodate these new investors.

• Shanjie Li, from Da Tang Group, has created a campaign specifically to attract Chinese investors. The campaign is designed to generate interest through opening a Cantonese restaurant for high-end tastes, as well as other areas of focus to generate greater interest in spas, condos, and shops that he plans to develop – all in an effort to make SoFla a welcoming haven for affluent investors from China. His plans include:

o A luxury Chinese restaurant in the Four Ambassadors building
o Condos geared towards business professionals
o A wellness center for those needing pampering and retirees
o A Doral-based golf community for Chinese vacationers
Paramount Miami Worldcenter, a tower of signature luxury condos located in downtown Miami that is scheduled to open by 2018, has Feng Shui consultants on staff to assist with project design to increase Chinese interest, and even removing numbers from floors and units that the Chinese avoid in their culture.

The two towers of the Estates at Aqualina, which was developed by the Trump Group, named both towers using numbers that are considered lucky in Chinese culture. Countless other brokers and developers are taking major steps to attract Chinese buyers, including translating brochures into several different Chinese dialects, wooing potential buyers by visiting Shanghai and Beijing.

There are also many other developers and brokers that are following these footsteps to capture the interest and potential cash that Chinese investors are expected to spend in South Florida.

Why the Heavy Focus?

SoFla is a gorgeous location that already caters to the elite that can afford the multi-million dollar trophy homes, but many firms have noticed a sharp increase in interest from Chinese buyers. Additionally, these buyers are paying cash, and that is worth all of the effort going into attracting them. So far, the Paramount location has received 20 reservations from Chinese investors, all of them prior to the official open of the project.

The Ritz-Carrolton Residences that are located on Singer Island have already sold seven units, in addition to three others at the Miami Beach location to investors from China. There are also many other locations in the region that have noticed an upswing in interest and purchases by Chinese buyers, and nearly all of them are for million dollar homes.

There is no denying that there is a trend in both the Chinese interest and purchases of luxury homes in South Florida (click here to view listings), and brokers and developers are doing everything they can to continue to push sales.


Faena Miami Beach

Hotelier Alan Faena has announced that there will be two more additions to his Faena Miami Beach, bringing the total up to three condominium towers, a retail and event complex and a hotel that are all being pitched by Faena as an arts hub. Each tower will be designed around its own concept, providing additional luxury that meets varying tastes.

Faena Contemporary

Faena Contemporary, which is expected for occupancy in 2017, will feature 41 units. The luxury residences will be from 1,111 square feet up to as large as 5,469 square feet. The units will be available with one to five bedrooms. There will also be two different penthouses that will be more than 8,000 square feet. One of the penthouses will also include a rooftop deck of 6,600 square feet, and an infinity pool that is 2,097 square feet.

Faena Versailles Classic

The second of these two towers is the Faena Versailles Classic, which is located at 35th and Collins Avenue in the former Versailles Hotel. This tower was designed by William Sofield, and will feature 22 units.

Each unit provides a wealth of amenities, with gorgeous ocean views in every unit. The condos will also feature customized bathrooms and kitchens. Each unit will range from 1,034 to 2,743 square feet, with one to four bedrooms. There will also be two duplex penthouses with a square footage of up to 7,300.

Even with the renovations, the 1940s-era façade, custom chandeliers, terrazzo flooring and the grand lobby are all being preserved to add to the classic feel.

The Faena Contemporary and the Versailles Classic will also have a range of amenities, including gardens designed by Raymond Jungles, two gyms, valet parking, storage space, and a preferred status to of areas of the Faena district.

The units will only be available through the Douglas Elliman sales and marketing firm, with prices that will range from a minimum of $3 million up to over $50 million.

Faena’s Vision

Faena’s vision is to do the same in Miami that he did in Buenas Aires, which was to create a neighborhood that was a mix of art, architecture, taste and, of course, food. The Miami Beach project is Faena’s dream to take the area from a sleepy one into an epicenter for the city, with efforts towards its art hub development.

Interestingly, the normally difficult to deal with historic preservationists and planners are all behind Faena’s dream as well. His goals of combining the contemporary designs of his buildings with a MiMo design that pays homage to the roots of the architecture in Miami Beach.

In all, this dream and project that Faena is creating in Collins will cost an estimated $750 million by the time it is all completed. With a focus on art, and a family friendly walking environment that will replace the currently traffic-choked area, Faena hopes to recreate Puerto Madero magic in Miami. They imagine a neighborhood which will combine art, luxuriousness, old and new architecture, and a touch of old world glamour all into a single neighborhood.


Armani Casa Sunny Isles

There was once a time when a gorgeous view of the Atlantic was all it took to generate interest and purchases in Miami’s exclusive beachfront skyscraper condos. The stunning beauty and beachside access were hallmarks that enticed many a buyer to decide to hang their hat in a second or third home. However, for the ultra-rich international jet set, the newest selling point is all about labels.

Luxe Designer Labels Are the New Trend

It’s no secret that clothing, jewelry, handbags, and cars that carry labels such as Armani, Porsche, or Fendi are more in-demand and have higher price tags. The new trend in Miami, however, takes those labels to new heights by using them to brand luxury hotels and homes to net greater profits.

While it may seem unlikely that simply adding a designer brand could drive premiums to staggering levels, there is plenty of proof available. Wealthy home buyers from locations such as Argentina, Brazil, China, France, and Russia are snapping up these new digs, and they are spending millions to do it. While many pursue high-dollar purchases to protect their fortunes from the decreasing
values of their currency, the designer logos are also a major factor.

The Proof Is in the Purchases

Even if the idea of haute logos commanding higher prices seems questionable, there is plenty of evidence available that proves otherwise. The following luxury Miami condos feature designer labels and prices to match, but buyers are snapping them.

Porsche Design Tower

This 132-condo location developed by Gil Dezer is scheduled for construction to be completed in 2016. However, it is already almost completely sold out – despite prices ranging from $4 million to $30 billion. The luxury condos inside this glass and concrete piston-shaped marvel feature stunning panoramic views of the Atlantic, but a major draw for some buyers is the three car elevators that take homeowners and their cars directly to their own personal garages.

Juan Pablo Verdiquio, an Argentinian native that moved to Miami and started his own construction business, took “a leap of faith” with his purchase, based solely on his ownership of a Porsche 911 4S. For him, living in a condo with the same name was nothing short of a perfect fit.

Armani Casa

Another designer condo skyscraper from Dezer is the Fendi Chateau. With its location near major boutiques that include Tiffany’s, Gucci, and Chanel, these apartments are also going fast. Verdiquio, who purchased one of the staggering Porsche condos, was shown blueprints of units available at the Armani, which start at $1.5 million. After seeing them, he purchased a unit in that building as well.

Luxury and designer labels are having a major impact on Miami Beach real estate, with prices for the top homes in the area leaping 66% in the past year. At the current rate, and as more of these branded condos emerge, these prices are expected to continue rising as more international buyers flock to the area. This will continue forcing Miami locals farther in-land for more affordable housing.


Brickell City Centre

Swire Properties and Property Markets Group are making changes to some of their deposit requirements in South Florida. While some believe this is an indication that the luxury condo boom may be hitting its peak after a four-year cycle, others insist this just isn’t true.

Swire Properties

Swire Properties, the developer of the Reach and Rise residential towers in Brickell City Centre has announced that their down payment requirement for the condos is dropping from the average 50% down to 35%. While some insist that this change to presale terms is a sign that the condo boom is finally slowing, the president of ONE Sotheby’s International Realty, which is the exclusive broker for the Swire Properties, explained that Swire’s decision was based on the fact that closings for remaining units in the towers are coming up quickly at year end.

Property Markets Group

Another developer that is making changes is Property Markets Group (PMG). They are not lowering their down payments on units in Sage Beach in Hollywood, Echo Aventura, Echo Brickell, and Muse in Sunny Isles, but they are making deals with some foreign buyers that allow for payments on the required 50% deposits.

A spokesperson of International Sales Group, which markets the PMG properties, explained that the move is mainly for Argentinian and Venezuelan buyers, who are having more difficulty with moving money out their accounts. For these buyers, the deposit is broken down into 40% being required down, with the additional 10% being sent as installment payments that have to be paid before closing.

Are Condo Sales Waning?

While the number of condos was down by 15% in January, they did increase by 1.4% in February over last year’s sales in the same month. The cycle of condo sales started in 2011, and since that time, 20,000 units have been announced. The reason PMG and Swire’s lowering their down payment requirements is making waves is because only four months prior to these decisions, the Crimson condominium developer began allowing 15 to 35% for some local buyers, using a Fannie Mae program.

The important thing to understand about both Swire’s and PMG is that neither developer relies on the deposits in order to carry out construction on their projects. Instead, they rely on equity that is already available. For these companies, that means there is essentially no risk for them in lowering the deposit requirements.

These down payment requirement changes do raise some questions about the future. The first is whether these lower requirements will carry over to other of the developers’ future properties, and second, whether other companies will follow suit.

The International Sales Group spokesperson, Craig Studnicky, believes that other developers may choose to lower their requirements as well, but that it will only be others like Property Markets Group and Swire’s that can depend on their current equity that will do so.

It will remain to be seen whether these decisions actually mark a downturn in the condo boom, or whether it is just two companies making a move that won’t risk their bottom lines.


miami homes for sale

South Florida real estate sellers have much to feel confident about, despite the on-going drops in cash home sales across the nation. Miami-Dade is one of the top locations with the most cash home sales. See Miami sold homes history here: www.sunnyislesmiamirealestate.com/Miami_Sold_Houses.htm.

A Look at the Numbers

Miami-Dade landed a spot in the list of the top five locations with the highest percentages of cash sales. As of January 2015 they had a 59% share, beat out only by Detroit, which had 65.5% of the cash sale share. Florida’s numbers don’t stop there though, as Fort Lauderdale has 58.4%, and West Palm Beach made the list with 57.6%. Together, these areas helped Florida as a whole to become the nationwide leader in cash sales, with their 56.3% of the share.

Even though the area is seeing a high percentage of cash sales, the February numbers, which were 58.8% in Miami-Dade in 2015, are lower than the 62.5% of the previous year. While there is a slight decrease over the one-year period, Miami’s cash sales are still over double the national average.

Home Sales in Miami Continue to Rise

While the high percentage of cash sales in the area is a considerable benefit, it should come as no surprise that the sales of single-family homes, in general, are on the rise as well. As of a report released by the Miami Association of Realtors, February saw the most increase in year over year sales, with a 14.2%. Additionally, condos also saw an increase in sales as well, with a 1.4% increase that took February sales up to 2,174, versus the previous February’s total of only 2,036. For most brokers, those numbers are certainly worth bragging about.

Driving Forces

With the large number of cash sales percentages in the South Florida area, it’s worth taking the time to consider the driving forces behind those numbers. The most important factor overall can be narrowed down to world money. Foreign investors are snapping up condos and other luxury homes in SoFla as a means of protecting their fortunes with the strong American dollar. By investing in multi-million dollar luxury homes, they protect themselves from the decreasing currency values of their own countries. However, while the protection is a considerable motivating factor, the fact that the Miami region is popular due to the weather and luxury lifestyle it can provide are also major drivers of cash sales.

Many foreign investors are flocking to the Miami area to take advantage of the luxurious designer label condos that are designed to provide unbelievable luxury that caters to the ultra-wealthy. With developers joining forces with brands such as Porsche and Armani, these homes are designed specifically to attract ultra-rich buyers that want a bit of prestige and comfort while protecting their assets.

Regardless of the driving forces behind South Florida’s cash sale percentages, the fact remains that this is great news for realtors in the area, and experts agree that this is not expected to change in the near future.


miami lakes mall

Developer Triple Five, which is the same company responsible for the current largest mall in the world, Minnesota’s Mall of America, wants to go even bigger in Miami. This new location, which would be called American Dream Miami, would occupy more than 200 acres at the intersection of Florida’s Turnpike and I-75, and could cost as much as $4 billion.

Triple Five has already submitted plans to the officials in Miami-Dade, and this project would be a major undertaking. Rather than simply being a mall, the developer wants to create a space that will also double as a theme park. It would include a Legoland, sea lions shows on one side, submarine rides on another side, and simulated ski slopes that would include 800 feet of artificial snow. There would also be a skating rink, miniature golf, indoor gardens, and a water park. The gardens would be included in a part of the complex that would include condominiums and hotels.
Carlos Jimenez, the Miami-Dade mayor, has said that the proposed project would be the largest development in the county’s economic history. Included in the proposal was the fact that it would require the creation of 25,000 new jobs just to build the development, and an additional 25,000 to operate it once completed.

The mostly farmland property in which Triple Five is interested currently has three different parties that would be affected:
• Graham Companies, which owns most of the land
• Florida, which owns 80 acres
• Miami-Dade Public Schools, which leases part of the land from Florida

If the project is approved, Triple Five will provide compensation of $7 million to the school system for surrendering its lease, and pay $11 million to Miami-Dade for the land.

miami lakes mall

The entire project is proposed to top that of the Mall of America, which has 520 stores and includes 50 restaurants, all covering 4.2 million square feet. Aventura Mall, which is currently the largest in Florida, has only around 2.7 million square feet, and 300 stores.

The proposed complex is modeled after a 3-million square foot project that is planned in New Jersey with the same name. Triple Five took over the development in 2010 after financing complications, and it is expected to open in 2016. Triple Five is intending for American Dream Miami to outdo all of the other famous projects that they have in all respects.

miami lakes mall

The current site proposed for American Dream Miami is in the Urban Development Boundary in Miami-Dade. In order to move the project forward, Triple Five will only need to have the zoning of the land changed. If the project is built, it is estimated that the developer will spend $50 million in annual taxes. At this time, Triple Five has not requested any tax breaks or subsidies as a part of the proposal.

Talks are still on-going, but if the proposal is accepted, it could mean major changes in the economy for that area of the county.


fisher island condo for sale

Exclusive Fisher Island real estate, which is home to a number of CEOs, athletes, billionaires, and stars from over 45 different countries that make up its 675 families, ranks as one of the highest per capita income zip codes in the US. It is to be expected that there are going to be some pricey homes in the area. However, even the residents who are accustomed to luxe homes and posh surroundings were impressed by the Palazzo del Sol penthouse that recently sold for a record-breaking $35 million.

Highest Island Sale Ever Recorded

The Palazzo del Sol, which is scheduled to be completed in early 2016, is a 47-unit tower and the first new construction in the area in over 7 years. The units are currently 47% under contract, and the buyers are from locations all over the world including Spain, London, Mexico, New York, Turkey, Venezuela, and Brazil. Penthouse 2 was purchased by a Russian buyer, who paid $3,602 for each square foot of the 9,715 square foot space. This is more than 2.5 times higher than previously recorded record sale, which was $13.5 million for a 6,170-square foot penthouse that had been built in 1992 and owned by Oprah Winfrey.

The $35 million penthouse #2 is one of three available in the space, and has many amenities, including:

• A private elevator
• 18-foot windows that provide panoramic views that include South Beach, the skyline of Miami, the Atlantic Ocean, and the Biscayne Bay
• An open floor plan
• Seven bedrooms
• Seven and a half bathrooms
• A theater
• An exercise room
• A bar and lounge
• Separate family and dining rooms
• Four terraces
• A zero-edge swimming pool
• Outdoor entertaining areas and a summer kitchen designed by Enea

The kitchen and bathrooms are Boffi, and include SubZero, Duravit, Dornbracht, and Gaggenau fixtures. Together, the combined indoor and outdoor spaces total 8,595 square feet.
The Palazzo del Sol itself is also designed to provide luxury and amenities that are meant to impress. These include a The Wright Fit fitness center, a hair and makeup salon, cinema style theater, professional fur storage, two lobbies, an aperitivo bar, private massage rooms, Kidville playroom, and integrated media meeting rooms.

Fisher Island itself has undergone $60 million in renovations to locations such as the Vanderbilt Mansion, the oceanfront Beach Club, and a wealth of additional amenities that include a championship P.B. Dye professional golf course, marinas, and a Spa Internazionale, which have all gone to attract even more of the international spotlight.

However, the addition of the Palazzo del Sol is adding to that international appeal and according to the leader of pre-construction sales for the development, Dora Puig, it is also “reasserting its position at the top of South Florida’s trophy real estate market”.

While the $35 million penthouse is in a class of its own, the rest of the units in the tower start at $5 million, which is none too shabby for the Fisher Island locale. With these prices, the island just might be making its comeback. See all condos on Fisher Island currently available for sale here: http://www.sunnyislesmiamirealestate.com/South-Beach/Fisher-Island/


Miami Beach apartments for sale

If the sun, sand and amazingly luxurious homes weren’t enough to make everyone love Miami, there is one more thing to add to the list. According to Livability, a research site dedicated using research to explore cities throughout the country to determine what’s great about them, Miami ranked number four on the top ten list of healthiest cities.

What Goes Into the Rankings?

The rankings on this list were determined by several different factors in order to come up with a complete picture of the overall healthiness. These factors include:

• Access, affordability and quality of healthcare
• Obesity rates in adults
• Access to healthy eating options
• Doctor to patient ratios and number of hospitals
• Whether the city promotes healthy lifestyles with walking paths, parks, and farmer’s markets
• Cleanliness of the water and air

Miami’s Results

Miami’s number four ranking was based on a few different things, beyond its overall beauty that most associate with it. The most important considerations for their healthy living ranking were:

• Number One Ranking in Florida – As far as healthiest lifestyle options, this county ranked the highest in all of Florida! This is due to most residents exercising at least three times per week, an obesity rate of less than 23 percent and a lack of residents that partake in smoking and drinking.
• Many Beaches, Parks, and Recreation Areas – Miami offers numerous areas and locations that promote healthy exercise and activity, including playing in the surf, visiting parks, deep-sea fishing, golf, and tennis.
• Everglades National Park – This factored into the ranking due to the miles of biking and hiking trials, as well as kayak and canoe opportunities.
• Healthcare – Miami offers a high doctor to patient ratio, high-ranking doctor’s offices and hospitals in the healthcare community and most residents report that they make annual health screenings a priority.
• Access to Healthy Eating – Miami also offers numerous co-ops and farmer’s markets that provide organically grown produce, as well as juice bars, smoothie shops and many different vegan and vegetarian restaurant options.
• Clean Air and Water – When compared to the rest of Florida, both the air quality and drinking water quality are considered clean.

All of these reasons landed Miami in their fourth place finish. However, there are other locations that were just a bit better. Minneapolis, Minnesota ranked as number one due to 17% of the city being part of the park system, a high number of insured residents and a low number of smokers.

On the other end of the spectrum, Yonkers, New York ranked 10th due to its high number of walkable areas and parks, and a recently unveiled Green City initiative and a high doctor to patient ratio.
When comparing Miami to some of those other cities, there is no denying that the city has plenty to offer residents. After all, a beach bod doesn’t happen by itself! With all these benefits thrown into the mix, it only makes Miami an even better place to live, work and play. To see Miami Beach properties for sale please click this link: www.sunnyislesmiamirealestate.com/Miami-Beach/


Content published by Lana Bell

Content published by Lana Bell