Once Near Empty Downtown Miami condos reach 93 percent occupancy

By Sunny Isles Real Estate Expert on March 10th, 2012

Miami Downtown Condos For Sale

Downtown Miami Condos

The latest report on downtown Miami’s condo market

shows almost all of the units built during the housing boom are full. That’s thanks to renters, who would be priced out if not for all of the cash purchase deals.

Here is the latest article by DOUGLAS HANKS from Miami Herald. You can read it below or click the link to read it at Miami Herald site: http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/03/02/2683428/no-vacancy-in-miamis-condo-canyon.html

Downtown Miami condo

canyon is almost full, thanks largely to a steady flow of cash from Latin America.

The latest survey of Miami downtown high-rises built during the housing boom shows more than 90 percent of the condos are occupied. After Latin American investors snapped up condos at distressed prices amid a wave of bankrupt high-rises, they turned to local renters to fill them. Four years into the buying spree, vacant units have almost disappeared.

“I always encourage my clients to bring their checkbook for the first month’s rent,’’ said an agent with downtown Realty who specializes in rental units. “There is a lot more demand than there is supply.”

The study by Miami’s Downtown Development Authority found 93 percent of the nearly 23,000 condominiums built in downtown Miami after 2002 are occupied. Of that, only about a third are occupied by full-time by owners, with the majority serving as rental apartments.

Behind the statistics are a fundamental shift in real estate math allowing for downtown Miami to become one of South Florida’s hottest rental markets.

The boom prices, where top condos were selling for $600 or more a square foot, would require rents too pricey for all but the most affluent residents. Instead, investors who bought then hoped to flip their units for even more money to future buyers.

Even at the sharply discounted $200-a-foot purchase prices in the depths of the housing bust, many of the condos would be too expensive to generate enough rent to cover association fees and mortgages on the units. But with the vast majority of investors paying cash for their downtown condos, they require far less rental revenue each month to make the deals “pencil out” as reasonable investments.

“Traditional financing wouldn’t have made these rentals viable,’’ said Werley, who conducted the study in a partnership with Goodkin Consulting. “If you had a mortgage on a half-million-dollar condo, the monthly costs would be way out of line with any reasonable rent you could generate.”

/Not all condos being rented in Miami’s urban core depend on cash investments, and the DDA study only covers units built during the last decade. Other indicators point to a downtown that is an increasingly popular place to be. The bust didn’t stop a wave of new retail complexes from opening, including the Midtown Miami mall on northern side of downtown and the Mary Brickell Village mall to the south. Restaurant taxes have surged 77 percent within Miami city limits since 2005 compared to a 35 percent gain countywide.

Tyler Tejeda commutes almost an hour each way in order to spend weekends in Miami. The 24-year-old recruiter for a Fort Lauderdale firm moved into a Brickell Avenue apartment in August, despite having a job nearly an hour away. “I could move to Fort Lauderdale if I really wanted to,’’ Tejeda said. “But I’d rather be in Brickell on the weekends. It bothers me less to have to commute on weekdays than have to come down to Miami on the weekends.”

Paul Riemer could afford to buy a condo of his own, but the young insurance executive instead pays upwards of $2,000 a month for a one-bedroom apartment at the Icon Brickell, a posh condo complex on Brickell Avenue.

“I’m not ready to make a big purchase yet,’’ the 23-year-old said. He cites a gap in what he can afford to rent and what he can afford to buy. Why move out of a luxury apartment to purchase his own condo somewhere else with a large mortgage?

“I have the money to comfortably rent,’’ Riemer said. “I don’t know if I’d be able to comfortably buy.”

The 93 percent occupancy rate in the latest DDA condo survey identifies little more than 1,000 vacants units in a condo market that came to symbolize the excess of Florida real estate. And it marks a big improvement over the 65 percent occupancy rate in the first DDA survey taken four years ago — a number that at the time seemed surprisingly high.

That was in 2008, at a time when South Florida real estate sales were just beginning to show a rebound. But prices were heading the other way, accelerating into a decline that has so far last five years, according to the Case-Shiller housing index. At the time, the DDA wasn’t sure it wanted to know how many people were living downtown.

“We were hearing from everybody driving down the road: Hey the condos are empty,’’ said DDA director Alyce Robertson. “You never know what the numbers are going to say. What if they really were all empty?”

With a hot rental market, downtown Miami has become a more expensive place to live. Mark McCann, owner of the Miami Apartment Locators brokerage, said a one-bedroom apartment in the downtown area went for about $1,300 a month several years ago. “Now that’s almost impossible,’’ he said. “Now it’s closer to $1,500 or $1,600. There is a lot of competition for the units. There was more supply before the recession.”

The rental market has helped usher in a new crop of condo projects downtown, a revival many thought might have to wait at least a decade after the big crash. Harvey Hernandez runs the company selling units in Brickell House, a 46-story building planned for 1300 Brickell Bay Drive. His sales staff runs weekly reports on the rental market — statistics that can help close a sale for a $400-per-square-foot unit at Brickell House.

“The rental market influences the buyer a lot. It is a great option,’’ Hernandez said. Miami “has about half the inventory available for rent we had four months ago. And four months ago, it was at least half of what it was four months prior.”

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Miami Herald Land Recently Sold for $236 Million

By Sunny Isles Real Estate Expert on September 27th, 2011

Miami Downtown New Real Estate

The 3rd largest casino company (Genting Malaysia Berhad) in Asia just purchased 13.9 acres of waterfront land owned by the Miami Herald, for $236 million. The property stretches from Biscayne Boulevard to Biscayne Bay. This landmark deal will reshape the surrounding downtown area, bringing more life and vitality to an already booming portion of the city.

Downtown Miami Real Estate

In a public statement, the Herald publisher noted that while their operations have thrived in this area for a number of years, the space was no longer conducive to ongoing operations. The $236 million land/property deal was also in part prompted by The Herald’s need to bolster funds, specifically to address funding needs of the organization’s pension plan, to repay some company debts and to address taxes. The newspaper’s executives have provided additional assurances that this sale will in no way interrupt their normal course of business.

The Genting group estimates the total construction project cost to be between $2-5 billion, which will not only boost the local economy, but will result in the creation of numerous jobs. The current plans for the property include a hotel, retail shopping, high rise Miami residences and a convention center.

Downtown Miami Real Estate

“This deal has generated a great deal of excitement within the Miami real estate community, as it is at or near to the highest price paid per acre in Dade history,” said Lana Bell of Sunny Realty. “A deal of this magnitude will create tremendous opportunity for not only local residents and businesses, but for the surrounding property market.”

Many local Miami real estate experts

feel that this deal serves as an endorsement for Miami. Asian developers chose the area not only due to the opportunity and price point, but the potential to draw international and domestic tourists, a strong revenue source for any project of this type.
“Successful real estate transactions such as this merely validate the strength of the South Florida real estate market. While this deal is certainly the largest to come our way in some time, it is surely a sign of what is to follow. South Florida is hungry for Miami luxury residential developments, both for current area renters as well as international visitors,” said Lana Bell, of Sunny Realty.

While the deal has been closed, construction isn’t expected to commence for 2 years, which corresponds to the allotted time frame provided to The Herald for relocation. The newspaper is currently searching for property within the area, although they may divide the printing and publication portions of their organization should the right space not be found to accommodate both.

From every angle, this landmark deal serves as a positive sign for Miami’s real estate market.

Carbonell Is The Jade Condo of Brickell Key

By Sunny Isles Real Estate Expert on October 28th, 2010

Carbonell Miami

Carbonell Downtown Miami Condo

When you usually think of luxury condos in Brickell

the Jade Residences Condo most likely comes to mind and if it doesn’t let me educate you. The Jade Condo Brickell was designed by Revuelta Vega Leon, which is responsible for developments such as Bristol Tower, Santa Maria Condo, Porto Vita Aventura, Jade Residences as well as Carbonell Brickell Key, just to name a few. You know when you step into a Revuelta Vega Leon development you are getting the very best of Miami luxury real estate. Let me not digress from the true focus, which is Carbonell the luxury condo development located on Brickell Key. This is kind of an “in the know” development for the simple reason it was not marketed to the public originally but to residence on Brickell Key.

Carbonell Condo

was built in 2005, with 284 units. This was Revuelta Vega Leon subsequent development from Jade Brickell, which was built in 2004. He corrected all the design flaws from Jade, but kept the luxurious feel. If you are looking for a rental in this building then you are out of luck, you wont find one. Owners’ focus is to keep the integrity of the building and they have definitely succeeded.

The location of the building is ideal to be close enough to the action of Brickell but secluded enough to avoid the noise pollution. Also, if you are into fitness you will be hard pressed to find a development with a more complete array of equipment. The fitness center even has two racquetball courts! So this development definitely has the trinity of location, design and amenities. Come see for yourself why Carbonell is one of Miami top luxury condo developments. Also, take advantage of some of the great deals available!

Advantages of the Santa Maria Condo in Brickell Miami

By Sunny Isles Real Estate Expert on July 14th, 2010

Santa Maria Brickell Listings

Santa Maria Condo Miami

The Brickell area of Miami

is one of the best known areas in town for culture and the various restaurants and shops that are most popular in Miami. This is one of the upscale areas in town, and it’s home to many growing families, young single professionals, and retirees. The Santa Maria Brickell condominium is one of those that is located in this prestigious area of town right on the ocean front. It has many advantages for investors as well as live in buyers.

One of the main advantages of this Downtown Miami condo is that it’s literally right on the bay. This location is great for vacationers who may want to rent your investment condo, and it’s also good for families who want a place to take their own vacations in a condo they own. Plus, the condo is close to the night life and other attractions in the area, and it’s situated near Biscayne Bay.

Also, this upscale, fifty story condo has other advantages built in. It is landscaped with an entire garden that is full of interesting pathways and shady groves of trees. The Club House, Cabana, and Gazebo areas are all great places for residents and visitors to hang out.

Sports and recreations at this luxury condo include an outdoor pool and lighted tennis courts. The recreational facilities may be the biggest advantage of Santa Maria condo. These are facilities that a live in family will love having, and they can also be marketed to vacationers who are interested in renting the condo. All of these elements mean that Santa Maria condos are excellent investments financially and socially. No matter whether you want to live in Miami or buy a condo in Miami to rent out most of the year as an investment, Santa Maria Miami is a great place to look.