Miami real estate

Recently, President Barack Obama chose to rework the immigration system, and his plan has the potential to do some great things for real estate sales in the Miami area, at least according to some specialists. Helena Tetzeli, a corporate immigration attorney, says that President Obama wants to improve the current immigration programs so that they can help to improve investment and entrepreneurship among immigrants coming into the United States. It has the potential to expand the EB-5 Visa for immigrant investors, which allows foreign individuals to invest a million or more, or half a million if in a targeted employment area, so long as it creates or keeps at least ten jobs in the United States.

Real estate projects would certainly fall under this category for the EB-5 visa. It may also be possible to create other similar programs that could help to encourage immigration to the United States for investors who have an interest in real estate. Many developers in the region are already using the EB-5 visa as a means to help fund development in both the commercial and the residential areas.

Who Might Immigrate and Invest?

It seems as though much of the world has a focus on the Miami area when it comes to development and investment. European investors, as well as those from South America and China are looking for many different types of investments. Some want to work with developers, while others are simply looking to buy an investment property or two. By bringing more foreign investment to the area, it is better for the overall economy. Some developers have already been benefiting. Tibor Hollo, is a good example. The construction cost for the property is more than $800 million, but with the help of foreign investment, they are able to meet that number.

Each year, the country has a cap on the number of EB-5 visas it allows. This number is 10,000. Interestingly, in 2014, the country reached the cap easily, and many of the visas were for Chinese investors. This shows that there is a rather large interest in developing and investing in the country. Some of the other investors that love investing in the Miami area include those from Brazil, Argentina, and other countries in South America. Since the country met their visa cap though, it means that some of those other foreign developers may not have been able to make the investments they wanted.

More Changes Could Be on the Horizon

The new changes that are coming to immigration in the coming months and year could well add more avenues and options for investors who want to put money into development contracts. This should help to make it easier for all the out of country investors who want to work in South Florida and who were unable to do so because of the visa cap.

Miami and the surrounding area have a lot to gain from all of this foreign investment, and it will be exciting to watch how it all unfolds.

Miami real estate

One of the hottest types of sales to happen in the Miami real estate (view homepage website) industry over the past year have actually been for air rights, which might seem somewhat strange to some. Air rights are the rights to the air space above one and two story buildings. What does this really mean though? Often, people call air rights the “transfer of developmental rights”, as this is what it really means. A person or company that owns a short building can sell the square footage above the property to a developer who wants to create a high rise building.

While this type of sale has been growing in frequency and popularity in the past year, it’s been around for some time. One of the areas famous for this is Sunny Isles Beach (view high-rise condos for sale here), which has countless high-rise properties on Collins Avenue. They have also been popular in places with limited space, where the only way to build is up, such as NYC. The system set up in Miami works well for the buyers as well as for the sellers.

How Do Air Rights Work?

Miami 21 Zoning Code says that “qualifying sellers are those who own building in Miami designated as historic or that are within a historic district.” The revenue from the sale of the air rights then needs to go into renovating and maintaining the “historic character” of the building. This helps to ensure that some of the older buildings with a bit of history behind them will get fair treatment rather than just being bought up and demolished. It helps to preserve the history and the flavor of the area. Ultimately, it adds more character, and it still allows the developers to build the luxury high-rise properties that are so popular today.

Developers in the area know that the total square footage and not merely the base square footage is the important number to consider. They can buy up the air rights and then build upward, just as they might do on a piece of land that did not already have a building on it. This gives them greater development potential, and a greater chance of earning more, naturally.

The price per square foot varies depending on just where in the city the developer is considering buying. Some areas with space that are more popular and in demand will have higher prices. The city sells air rights to some of their buildings, and these tend to be higher than what private sellers are offering. In order for a private seller to get developers interested, they will need to come down from the city’s asking price, which is typically around $15 to $16 per square foot.

With the amount of interest that people have in living in the Miami area, there’s still a need for more developments. This will grow even more in the coming years. Many traditional building projects are underway now, but selling air rights to developers will help them to meet the growing need of a city that’s poised to become even larger and more populous.

Miami real estate

Over the years, many foreign investors have been buying properties in the Miami region, and some out of country developers have even built in the area. There is currently a new influx of developers from China that will be hitting the Miami area in the coming year. Ning Yuan of China Construction America spoke at the Urban Land Institute’s Miami Condo Market (see homepage here) Symposium and told panel attendees that a large number of developers from China are currently looking at Miami and thinking about the best way to get involved with real estate there.

China Looks Overseas

In recent years, China has been starting to expand well beyond its borders and look for other areas in which they can invest in a number of different fields. Developing real estate is one of those fields, and they see Miami as an ideal place to do it for a number of different reasons.

First, they want to develop in a region that is highly popular and sought after by foreign and domestic buyers. New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles could be good choices, but the price of property and development in those areas is typically higher. It is relatively cost effective to build and develop in Miami when compared with some of the other locations across the country. People also love the Miami area, and they are still looking for great places to live. The city and the surrounding area still have a large amount of potential, and developers and investors from China want to get in on the action.

Some of the developers from China, including Greenland Group, the country’s second largest developer, want to double their investment overseas. China Construction recently bought Plaza Construction, a developer in New York, to work on projects across South Florida. They are already working in places such as Biscayne Beach and Icon Bay.

Over the course of the next two to three years, it is quite likely that a number of other developers from China will start to announce projects in Miami and the nearby areas. Some may work on their own, while others might work in conjunction with other developers already in the United States.

What Does It Mean for Buyers?

Of course, buyers will certainly want to know what this means for them. First, it means that there will be more options and offerings on the market, and that is typically a good thing. Buyers will have more choices so they can find a property that will best fit their needs. With the Chinese developers and other developers adamant about creating more buildings in the area, it could mean that the prices start to settle rather than rise too. This is also good news for buyers.

Will the market reach a saturation point where the number of units outnumbers the buyers? While this could happen, it is not likely to occur for some time. Even now, with all of the units underway, sellers are having very little trouble with sales. Presales are strong for many buildings as well.

Over the past couple of years, the United States has been coming out of the dismal recession that bogged the country down for so long. The value of the dollar is again on the rise, and other areas of the economy are showing some great improvements as well. The U.S. dollar actually rose to the highest point in five years recently, and that’s good news for investors in a host of different areas, including real estate. With the value of the dollar higher, it could mean that it’s possible to buy quality real estate, which also has the potential to keep rising in value.

Will the Trend Continue?

Most of the experts feel that the trend of the rising dollar will continue through most of 2015, even though there could be some slight rises and falls along the way. One of the reasons they believe this is that the economy outside of the United States is actually doing poorly. It will cost countries that buy exports from the United States more money to buy the goods they need, and this will help to improve the country’s economy further. Some worry that the strength of the dollar could actually cause more financial problems around the world. They fear that some banks in other countries could actually go into default because of this.

The United States has struggled in recent years to improve the economy at all levels, but things do seem to be going much better for the nation right now. In November alone, another 321,000 people became employed – and this was outside of the agricultural sector. This is the biggest jump in employment since 2012, which is another good sign that things are heading in the right direction. The expected number of jobs was only 230,000. The addition of nearly 100,000 extra was something of a surprise. Right now the unemployment rate is at 5.8%. While it could stand to go lower, this is the lowest it has been in eight years.

Other countries around the world are simply not growing at the same rate as the U.S., and that’s causing those nations, many of which are rivals, to start to fall behind. Europe, India, and China are all starting to fall behind.

The Interest Rates May Rise in the Coming Year

Experts also feel that the Federal Reserve might raise interest rates in 2015, as this will help to reduce the risk of inflation. However, it was lowered despite all the predictions and looks like it is not going anywhere any time soon. There has not been an interest hike since 2008, when the country was in the grip of a recession. Therefore, this is probably the best time to make large purchases, such as with real estate.

To view real estate opportunities in Miami – CLICK HERE

Miami Herald Story Lana Bell

I am very pleased to share a story which I was interviewed for by Miami Herald. It was printed in today’s Miami Herald Business Monday section. It tells the story on Sunny Isles, it’s diminishing Russian population and growing Brazilian presence. You can also view the text of the story further down or read it online here:

In the 1990s, J. Milton & Associates established the first exclusive waterfront residential developments in Sunny Isles. By the early 2000s, a real estate boom took over Sunny Isles and continues giving rise to some of the hottest oceanfront luxurious high-rise condominiums and hotels such as Jade Signature, Muse Sunny Isles, Turnberry Ocean Club, Porsche Tower and many more. This accessible 2.5-mile piece of land attracted visionaries such as Gil and Michael Dezer, Turnberry Associates, Jorge Pérez and Donald Trump, who revamped the motel row neighborhood on Collins Avenue to welcome the strongest and most extravagant power buyers to an ever-changing millionaire’s row.

Developers recognized the up-and-coming community as a secluded yet centric zone that would attract international seasonal and year-round residents. The jet-set strip would easily allure Europeans, Russians and South Americans who wished to be surrounded by Golden Beach residences, Bal Harbour shops, three international airports and mostly importantly — white sandy beaches. For the past five years, Sunny Isles has transformed into an elite location, which surrounds itself with fine restaurants, upscale shops and quality family lifestyle. In 2014 alone, 15 new residential developments, two city parks and a school with grades kindergarten through eight have been proposed.

In the midst of 2010, Sunny Isles experienced a major demographic change of Russian-owned delis, restaurants, beauty spas, supermarkets and real estate companies dubbing it “Little Moscow.” According to a 2010 Sunny Isles census, 7percent of the population were Russians. Florida then became one of the top six states with a large Russian demographic. In fact, the Russian community is one of the largest ethnic groups in the United States, with 2.9million individuals out of the total foreign-born population of 28.4 million. Sunny Isles created the perfect ambience for Russians who desired a secluded safe haven and relaxing life.

According to ONE Sotheby’s International Realty, Russian families typically purchase single-family residences starting at $1 million while wealthy Russians purchase homes in the tens of millions. However, in the past year, the report also demonstrates a sharp decrease of about 50 percent to 70 percent of the Eastern European buyers due to Russia’s aggressive behavior with Ukraine. As the United States imposed immediate sanctions on individual Russians, banning them from taking money out of American bank accounts or traveling to the U.S., there has been a slight investment. Yet, this has only affected Russians from Russia and not the wealthy Russian-Americans from New York, Illinois, Philadelphia, Massachusetts and California.

Due to this swift change, South Americans have become dominant in the Sunny Isles community — particularly Brazilians who are fleeing their country due to its government instability, currency devaluation and rising inflation. Brazilians have invested their money to become South Florida’s top international home buyer. As of now, the buyers who have cleaned out Miami and Sunny Isles’ excess inventory at Jade Signature, Muse Sunny Isles, Turnberry Ocean Club, just to name a few, are an estimated 20 percent to 30 percent Brazilian. Brokers are brushing up on their “Portuñol” — a mix of Portuguese and Spanish and international law to assist potential Brazilian clients.

South Florida continues to rise above the real estate crash, embrace its melting-pot demographics, and lead the United States in total investment by international home buyers. Russians, Brazilians and other international buyers have their eyes and residences set on Sunny Isles, Miami Beach, Aventura, Brickell and downtown Miami.

The Miami market is a safe and global haven that offers competitive prices for all ethnic and economic demographics.

Lana Bell of ONE Sotheby’s International Realty Sunny Isles Office (click here to see the website) has an extensive background in information technology. Throughout her career in selling luxury residential real estate, Bell has sold over 500 properties, with close to nearly 40 properties a year, adding up to more than $1billion in sales since 2003.

Turnberry Ocean Club

One of the most popular developments in the Sunny Isles Beach area is the Turnberry Ocean Club. Designed by architect Carlos Zapata, the property has a range of elements that help to make it a standout choice amongst the many options in the area. Turnberry Associates reports that they have actually been selling these properties quite briskly as well. The property has 154 units, and they have already reported sales of more than two dozen of the units. Interestingly, many of the people who bought in the building are from Europe or South America. Investors from those nations often look for high quality luxury properties in the Miami area that they can use as vacation homes, permanent residences, and investment properties.

Construction of this property will not actually begin until 2015, but that is doing nothing to slow down the presales. Daniel Reardon of Turnberry Associates actually believes that they will sell 50 to 70 of the units by the time the construction starts. The completion date for the building is 2018. The units in the building vary quite a bit in size – from 2,900 to 10,645 square feet. The prices differ as well, naturally. They range from $4 million to $35 million. These are, without a shadow of a doubt, true luxury properties that will have all of the features and amenities an owner could want.

Turnberry is a popular developer, but Riordan says that the Turnberry Ocean Club is something of a departure for them. In the past, they’ve worked with a number of traditional designs and styles, but this building has a far more modern appearance. The 54-story property will have a wide range of features and amenities that will appeal to many different types of buyers.

Why Choose Turnberry Ocean Club – (view site and brochure here)?

The property will feature a Sky Club on floors 30 through 32. The club will include amenities such as saunas, spas, an indoor and outdoor dining area, and a fitness center so residents can stay in great shape. Having this area in the middle of the building will help to set it apart from many of the other properties in the area that will typically have these features on the lower floors.

While Turnberry understands that a number of investors will be looking into the company, they are focusing on families that actually want to live in the building and make it their home. They want to have a true family building rather than having investors simply renting out all of the units to vacationers. The area really is ideal for those buyers who want to raise a family.

Although it is still quite early in the development of the building, now is the best time to look and see what properties they have available for anyone with even a small interest in buying. It’s better to buy now rather than wait and regret missing what is sure to be one of the hottest properties in the Sunny Isles Beach area in the coming years.

Miami real estate

It’s hard to believe 2014 is over and 2015 is here. 2014 was a great year for United States economy, the stock market and of course the real estate market. The US economy has officially recuperated and most experts agree that we are seeing a large surge when it comes to recovering. Even the Federal Reserve certified that the economy is stable. President Obama points to a drop in the deficit as well as a massive boom in the energy output of the United States.

These things are helping the country get stable footing in the world economy. The unemployment rate in October of 2014 was 5.8%. This is the lowest it’s actually been since July of 2008. The forecast for growth in the U.S. economy is 3.1% in 2015. This is far higher than the expected growth in other countries around the world, and that should be very exciting for people in the U.S. It means that things really are turning around for the better. They even closed down the stimulus program, feeling it is no longer necessary as a means to beef up the economy.

What Does That Do To Miami Real Estate?

2014 was a great year for Miami real estate (CLICK HERE to view properties) with appreciation rates over 20% and stronger than ever demand for the luxury properties. More and more World-renowned architects are choosing Miami for their projects, which adds to the city’s overall success. Miami has some of the most beautiful buildings on the planet.

The migration to Miami continues to be very strong with many families moving to Miami. There are a lot of executives of multinational firms moving to Miami as well and the Miami schools admitting more kids than ever each year. The South American markets continue to drive a lot of buyers into Miami because of the financial insecurity in their countries. There are more and more Europeans coming to Miami to purchase luxury properties you can only find in Miami. The New Yorkers are buying Miami real estate once again and that’s a big indication of stable economy in US.

Without any doubt, Miami is the new global city and will continue to attract many affluent clients looking for values they will not find anywhere else. The renewed confidence will make Miami real estate even stronger in 2015.

For more information on current Miami real estate opportunities, please contact our office at (305) 336-0457.

Miami Beach homes for sale

Picture the city of Miami Beach and South Beach. Chances are good that condo properties loom large in that mental image. There’s a good reason for that. They’re immensely popular throughout Miami-Dade County. However, that doesn’t mean that single-family homes have fallen out of favor or aren’t in demand. Many would-be homeowners would prefer to have their own home designed and built on their own land, rather than buy into a condo property. The problem is that few people can actually manage that. Why is this the case?

Little Land

One of the problems here is that the Miami Beach area is highly developed. That means in order for something new to be built, something else usually has to be torn down. In the absence of empty lots and buildings that need demolishing, would-be homeowners are finding it harder and harder to locate a parcel of land that suits their needs. (View All Miami Beach Homes For Sale Here)

There’s also the zoning problem – what little available land there is may not be zoned for residential use. Most of it has already been zoned for commercial use (including the building of condos). Why? There are two primary reasons. First, the demand is there. Second, the area makes more in tax revenue from land that’s been zoned commercial rather than residential.


While the impact of the land conundrum has been felt by homebuyers, it’s homebuilders that have been hardest hit. The Atlantic Ocean bounds builders on the east, and the Urban Development Boundary prevents expansion to the west. Builders have nowhere to go, and that means smaller builders have actually gone out of business. Very few builders remain operating in the area that aren’t big businesses. Even large construction companies are finding the going tough, though.

Down the Road

Currently, the Miami-Dade area has a three-month supply of existing homes on the market, but the problem comes from the lack of replacement lots. Once those vacant homes are sold, there are fewer and fewer empty lots available to build on to replace them. Lot shortages have already had an impact on the industry, and that effect will only become stronger in the coming months. Experts predict that things will get worse before they get better.

One way that builders are coping with the shortages is to change their development and building habits. In the past, massive, sweeping neighborhoods were constructed. Those are largely gone now, though. Builders are instead focusing on the smaller 20-acre lots, or even 10-acre lots, and developing them as best they can.

The Condo Market

In direct contrast to the single-family home construction segment, condo construction is thriving. Sunny Isles Beach alone had 15 multimillion dollar developments (View all preconstruction projects in Sunny Isles Beach) in the last 10 years, and the greater Miami area has seen countless more. Condos are viable because they require a much smaller initial footprint, and can be home to hundreds, even thousands of families. A single 20-acre site might accommodate 900 units.

It remains to be seen just how long it will take the single-family housing industry to recover, but in the meantime, the condo industry continues to thrive.

Estates At Acqualina Sunny Isles Beach

The real estate recovery has been a long slog for most of the nation, but South Florida’s been looking up more and more. While Miami and its surroundings are doing well, Sunny Isles is outperforming some of the traditional leaders. With 15 condo properties now under development, the city’s boom is more than just a trend. The newest project involves the Trump Group and a planned 51-story condo building to be branded Estates At Acqualina.

A Look at the Project

The Trump Group marks the third attempt in the past 10 years (under the name GSF Acquisition LLC) to build a condo on Collins Avenue in Sunny Isles. The site itself comprises 5.6 acres, and was once home to the Golden Strand Ocean Villa Resort. The new development will be called Estates At Acqualina and will comprise of two towers, 51 stories each. Each tower will feature only 90 residences. The residences will range in size from 4,465 square feet to just over 5,000 square feet. Just two lots south of its location is the site of another Trump Group project, the Mansions at Acqualina, which will eventually boast 79 units spread across 46 floors.

Villa Acqualina skating rink

The club house for Estates of Acqualina will be called Villa Acqualina and will be built by an acclaimed architect, Rafael Portuondo. The new Estates at Acqualina will offer top of the line amenities including beautifully landscaped gardens featuring multiple infinity pools, a FlowRider® for surfers, a basketball court, a romantic beachfront restaurant and bar, and 502 feet of Atlantic oceanfront on a 5.6 acre site with all the benefits of Acqualina’s five-star lifestyle. Residents can enjoy the sun’s splendor and dip into the cool ocean in an atmosphere of absolute privacy, which is unparalleled in South Florida. Villa Acqualina with more than 45,000 square feet of remarkable facilities including a spa and fitness center, one of a kind dining with a world renowned restaurant and Circus Maximus, a full floor of magical amenities such as ice skating rink, bowling lanes, a Wall Street Trader’s Club room, and a movie theater among many other attractions to delight people of every age. Villa Acqualina has something for everyone, creating a never-before-seen ocean-side lifestyle.

The existing Golden Strand Ocean Villa Resort has stood on the beach for over 32 years, and comprises a number of residential and commercial buildings. The president of that project signed termination paperwork in June 2014, which cleared the way for the property to be sold and ultimately demolished before construction of the new Acqualina tower can begin.

That move comes only months after the purchase of 134 units at the Golden Strand Ocean Villa Resort by GSF Acquisition back in January of 2014 (giving the development company a controlling interest of 80% and the ability to press for a sale).

Will the towers sell out quickly? That’s the multimillion-dollar question. The Trump Group is banking on buyers maintaining their appetite for luxury south Florida real estate in the coming years, even as other projects come to the market. As this is the 15th such project to be announced in Sunny Isles alone since the beginning of the current boom cycle back in 2011, there will be lots of competition for the Acqualina. Whether the company’s gamble pays off remains to be seen, but it’s definitely a sign of the times.

For Sunny Isles, and most other areas of SoFla, the real estate bust is long gone and business is booming. Thousands of new units are slated to come to market within the next three years, giving buyers more choices in luxury living than ever before.

Prospective buyers have an incredible array of options in Sunny Isles alone. With 15 new projects in development as well as existing properties on the market, it’s an interesting mix of both a buyer’s and seller’s market, giving benefits to both sides. Buyers get their choice of luxury living in some of the finest condo properties ever built, and sellers get to take advantage of surging demand for their offerings.

Click Here To View Additional Information About Estates At Acqualina or to reserve your unit today please contact our office at (305) 336-0457.

Miami commercial real estate

The residential Miami real estate (view home page site here) market has traditionally been well served by Latin American buyers and investors. Now those same investors are helping to support the area’s office market by investing in office condos in Miami. This both supports and spurs on Miami’s expansion in office space and the number of businesses and entrepreneurs operating in the city.

Ofizzina 1200

One of the most visible ways that Latin American investors are helping make Miami a thriving place to call home is the creation of Ofizzina 1200. This office/condo/suite amalgamation will stand 16 stories tall, and will house 47 office suites. It will be located at 1200 Ponce de Leon Boulevard in Coral Gables, and will span an impressive 97,000 square feet of office space in a Mediterranean themed building.

Other Developments

There are several other business developments in and around greater Miami these days other than Ofizzina 1200. Another can be found along the riverfront in Downtown, where the Coto supermarket family of Argentina paid $125 million for a construction site. The same family also purchased 19 office condos at 1200 Brickell Avenue earlier in the year. (CLICK HERE for Miami commercial real estate)

Not for Immediate Use

While Ofizzina 1200 will be constructed for immediate use as business space, many Latin American investors are buying existing rentals and transforming them into office condos, then turning around and either leasing or selling them outright. Some experts point out that this allows investors to pay $180 per square foot initially, but sell for $300 per square foot after reconfiguring the space for the needs of business owners. That’s a significant amount of profit, and it also serves the Miami area where there are few places investors actually want to be, despite the ongoing business expansion within the city. That expansion is more than sufficient to support multiple luxury office building projects, as well as office condo development.

Other Business Developments Downtown

While Latin American investors are doing a great deal to bolster the economy in South Florida, there are other noteworthy developments. One of those is the 17-acre site that will soon become Miami Worldcenter. It will create an estimated 18,000 jobs, and will house condos, retail space, bars and nightclubs, restaurants, a massive conference center, and even a 1,000-room hotel. Of course, there’s also Brickell City Centre, a massive mixed-use project already under way. BCC will feature residential areas, business areas, and even the first Cinemex north of the US-Mexico border.

Add to that explosion and expansion of business the burgeoning real estate market (which recently hit a six-year high in term of price), and you have a true recipe for success. Miami residents look forward to putting the lingering effects of the recession behind them, and for many, that might occur much sooner than for other areas of the nation where real estate prices are still depressed, and businesses are vanishing at an astonishing pace.

Miami, already a world-class city, is poised to take on a leadership role on the international business scene comparable to its reputation as one of the best places to live.

Content published by Lana Bell

Content published by Lana Bell