Total Wealth of Americans Rises Thanks to Housing Values

By Sunny Isles Real Estate Expert on September 19th, 2016

Miami real estate

Over the last year or so, the value of homes in the United State have been on the rise, and this has actually helped to increase the overall wealth of Americans (as a whole) to $88.1 trillion for the first quarter of 2016. This is the highest it has ever been, and when you look at the housing trends, you can see what a difference it has made.

Real Estate Values Up

The residential real estate values in the country climbed to $498 billion in the first quarter of 2016, and this has helped to negate the shakiness that the stock market has seen in those same months. In fact, the overall value of equities in the country during the first quarter dropped by $160 billion, according to a report released by the Federal Reserve.

The power of the real estate market was able to turn around the faltering stock market, and that’s quite impressive given the fact that it was only a few years ago that real estate was in turmoil. Everyone remembers the recession of 2007 and what happened to the housing market. At that time, the housing market lost more than $12 trillion. In 2009, the Americans’ net worth dropped to $44 trillion.

Even though the numbers have not been adjusted for inflation, there has been a substantial amount of growth that has been able to outpace inflation. The increase in home values has helped to boost the wealth of many middle class families across the country.

What Else Has Contributed to the Increased Wealth?

One of the other major factors that has contributed to the rise in Americans’ wealth is the fact that fewer people in the country are taking on debt. They seem to have learned quite a bit from the last recession, and the millennials who are now adults are following the path of the older generations who have learned their lesson.

With good fortune, good investments, and by keeping debt low, it might be possible to keep the wealth of the country high, and hopefully make it rise even more in the coming years.

To view Miami real estate properties for sale please CLICK HERE.

Vector Group’s Howard Lorber Highest Paid CEO in South Florida

By Sunny Isles Real Estate Expert on September 8th, 2016

Star Island Hiami

Many people who live and work in South Florida have good jobs. It helps them to cover the cost of living in the city. After all, there are many luxury properties in and around Miami Beach, so having a good job that pays well is important. However, there are some people in South Florida who make more in a year than most people can imagine. Let’s look at some of the highest paid people who call South Florida home.

Howard Lorber

Howard Lorber is the president and CEO of Vector Group, and in 2015, he was the highest earning CEO in the South Florida area. His overall income was $42.5 million. This was approximately $13 million more than he made in 2014. Most of the increase came in the form of stock awards. His salary for the year was $3.1 million. He had another $28.4 million in stock rewards, as well as pension money, and other options. This is a substantial amount of money, but there are a number of other CEOs in the area who are also doing quite well for themselves.

Scott Scherr

CEO Scott Scherr of Ultimate Software Group Inc., was paid $38.3 million in 2015. His company is responsible for creating and providing web-based software solutions for payroll and for managing workforces. Previously, Scherr was the vice president of operations at Automatic Data Processing Inc.

Frank J. Del Rio

The CEO of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd., Frank J. Del Rio, brought home $31.9 million in 2015. The company’s overall market value was $13.35 billion, which is actually far more than Vector Group or Ultimate Software Group’s worth, even though their CEO brought in less in earnings. Still, making nearly $32 million is nothing to scoff at.

Stuart Miller

When it comes to real estate, there were quite a few names on the list of top paid CEOs in the area as well. Stuart Miller, a resident of Star Island – (view Star Island listings), is one of the top earners in the area. He is the CEO of Lennar Corp, and in 2015, he brought in $17.9 million and had a base salary of $1 million. This made him the fourth highest paid CEO in the area.

John Kanas

John Kanas comes in at number 16 on the list of top paid CEOs. He is the CEO of Bank United, and he was paid more than $6 million.

Phillip Frost

Phillip Frost is the CEO of Opko Health, Inc., and he brought in $3.84 million, putting him at number 22 on the list of highest paid CEOs in the South Florida region.
These are some of the top earners in the South Florida region of the state. Each of the CEOs earns a considerable amount of money, and the ones mentioned here are just a handful of the CEO multimillionaires in the region. There’s a reason that one of the most popular places in the city to live is called Millionaire’s Row.

Consider the Homes on Allison Island

By Sunny Isles Real Estate Expert on September 5th, 2016

Allison Island homes for sale

Located just a short distance north of Miami Beach, you will find the community of Allison Island – view site here. The homes are all on an island, and those who live there have a very strong sense of community. If you are looking for a high quality place to call home, and you want a place that is family friendly, then Allison Island could be a good solution for you. However, you have to keep in mind that the homes that come up for sale here tend to go very quickly. If you find a place that you would like to learn more about or would want to buy, you should act on it swiftly.

There is a convenient bridge that connects you with the mainland, but one of the reasons to live on an island is because you have more privacy than you will in many other places. On Allison Island, you can enjoy a substantial amount of waterfront, and you feel separate from the hustle and bustle of the city, even though you are just a short distance away.

Types of Homes Available

You can find a number of different types of homes available on Allison Island, and many of them are quite large. This makes them a nice option for those who want to raise a growing family, or those who have extended family living with them. The price of the luxury homes can vary based on their size, location, and amenities.
Whether you want to buy a home and live in it permanently, as many do, or you are just looking for a vacation home, you might be able to find what you need here. Of course, you might also be considering using one of the properties for an investment, which could also be a good idea.

What Can You Do in the Area?

When you want to venture off the island, you will find that there are plenty of great things to see and do that are just a short distance away. You can head to South Beach or Miami Beach and spend some time taking in the sights. You are only a short distance from popular shopping areas such as Bal Harbour Shops, as well. There are plenty of interesting dining areas as well. Go fishing, check out art galleries, head into the city to catch a game, spend some time at the nightclubs, and visit the beaches for some fun in the sun. There is never a shortage of things to do.

When you want to live in pure luxury, and you like the idea of being close to all of the action, but still having a bit of a buffer between you and the city, Allison Island could be a great option. If you see a home for sale that interests you, it is important to talk with your real estate professional as soon as possible so you can see the property and determine if it’s the right one for you.

Consider the Beautiful Homes on Pinetree Drive

By Sunny Isles Real Estate Expert on August 30th, 2016

Pinetree Drive Homes

Many people who live in the Miami area feel that Pinetree drive – (see website for all available homes for sale) is one of the most beautiful locations in the entire city. When you start to look at the fantastic homes in the area, as well as the land, it is easy to see why. This community is located in the eastern portion of the city, and this is where you will find some of the most luxurious and high end properties in the state. The drive, lined with trees, extends from 23rd Street to 63rd Street. It’s a lovely place to drive, and when you see the homes, you will understand why so many people feel this is one of the best places to live in the city.

Many Types of Homes

Some of the homes are located on the water, while others are located inland. Regardless of whether the home has a spot on the water or not, you can agree that all of the homes are stunning, not to mention at the upper end of the market price. You can find homes of different sizes and with different features and amenities, and this should be something that you consider before you go house hunting.

What are you looking for in a home on Pinetree Drive? Do you want to have some additional rooms for a growing family? Do you want to have a spot that’s right on the water with a dock? Do you want a gated home with security? How large does the garage need to be? You have to think about all of the different things that you and your family need when you are choosing a home whether it is on Pinetree Drive or any other area. You can talk with a real estate agent for help in this matter if needed.

A Wonderful Location

Undoubtedly, you want to find a piece of property that is in a safe location. This drive is a safe area, and you will find that it can be a nice place to raise your family. In addition to being a safe location, you will find that it is close to many of the places in the Miami area that you might want to visit. You can head to Miami Beach if you would like, or into South Beach. There are plenty of places to dine and to enjoy the nightlife. You can get to the airports in around 20 minutes, you can head to Fort Lauderdale, Bal Harbour, and more. Whether you want to catch a game, visit a museum or a gallery, or anything else, it’s easy when you live on Pinetree Drive.

If you love the idea of living in an area that is peaceful and quiet, but it still close to all of the action that Miami can offer, the homes in this area could be for you. Take the time to speak with a real estate agent and learn more about the homes that are available.

Bath Club Offers Plenty for Residents to Love

By Sunny Isles Real Estate Expert on August 19th, 2016

Bath Club Miami Beach

While there are many new buildings cropping up in Miami Beach all the time, it is important that you do not overlook one of the older and most popular buildings in the area. The Bath Club – (view website here) has been in the area since the 1920s, but don’t let that fool you. It has undergone a massive renovation that helps to make it a true contender when it comes to luxury living in the Miami Beach area. The Bath Club has true luxury, and it is an exclusive property that has a wealth of amenities and benefits for the residents. Let’s look at some of the features that help to make this such a great place to live.

The Features of the Bath Club

One of the best features is the semi-private beach. The residents and the guests are able to spend as much time out on the sand as they would like. Since the weather is great most of the time, this might be just what you plan to do with your time once you make the Bath Club your home.

The property also offers formal ballrooms, as well as a billiards room and a game room. You can cool off in the swimming pool, which features lap lanes as well as cabanas. If you would like to stay in great shape, or get into shape, you can take advantage of the health spa and the personal trainers, as well as the two clay tennis courts. The outdoor hot tub is a nice place to relax with someone special.

The building also offers a valet and a full service concierge. Security is on the grounds around the clock, and there is a business center you can use as well. The residents have a private lobby, and they can make use of the maid service on request. In addition, the building has a gourmet market as well as a newsstand.

What Do the Residences Offer?

While the building certainly has a substantial amount of amenities to enjoy, you are probably curious about the residences as well. They have quite a bit to enjoy too. The units have natural wood and stone to convey an earthy feel. They also have great views of the bay and the ocean, as well as hurricane impact resistant glass. The have Miele appliances, built in refrigerators and freezers, European cabinetry, and Italian marble floors. The villas that are available have four stories and private elevators, as well as direct access to the beach.

A Great Location

If the amenities of the building and the residences aren’t enough, you can also enjoy the fantastic location. When you live at the Bath Club, you are only going to be a short distance from everything that you want to do in the area. You can head into downtown Miami for work, shopping, dining, and entertainment. Fort Lauderdale is only a short distance away as well.
As you can see, the Bath Club has quite a bit to offer. Even though it’s not one of the brand new buildings, it is certainly worth considering.

Akoya Could Be the Next Place You Call Home

By Sunny Isles Real Estate Expert on August 12th, 2016

Akoya Miami Beach

Akoya is a beautiful oceanfront property (see website by clicking here) that has a substantial amount to offer those who are looking for a new place to call home. Whether you are buying property that you want to use as an investment, or you are buying a place to retire, a vacation home, or somewhere you want to live full time, this building could have what you need. It is located right on Miami Beach, and it has a number of benefits. Let’s look at some of the reasons to call this building home.

What Does Akoya Offer?

One of the first things you will want to do is think about the location. The building is in a fantastic area. Residents are never more than a few steps from the sand and the surf. They are also close to all of the wonderful things that Miami Beach has to offer including shopping and dining. You can drive in to the city, to Fort Lauderdale, and anywhere else you might need to go with little trouble. Then you can come home to the beautiful tower where you can enjoy some great views from any of the residences. The views are even more impressive thanks to the floor to ceiling glass.

You will enjoy European styled kitchens that have gorgeous cabinetry, granite countertops, and stainless steel appliances. The bathrooms are just as incredible. The master bath features a marble bath and a whirlpool tub, which is the perfect place to unwind at the end of a long day.

Some of the other features of the units include oversized wraparound balconies with sliding glass doors. You can spend your time out on the balcony enjoying the day, entertaining, or just relaxing with a drink in the evening. The units are nice and large, and they are a nice option for young couples, retirees, or anyone else who is looking for a great place to call home.

The Building Amenities

In addition to the amenities that you will find within the units themselves, there are also plenty of reasons to love the building itself. If you want to keep in shape, as so many of the residents do, you can spend time working out at the state of the art fitness center. There is also a putting green, as well as tennis courts and racquetball courts. You can also go swimming. With all of these ways to stay active and fit right in Akoya, you will never get bored, and you could get into the best shape of your life.

Another one of the great features of the building is that it is pet friendly. This is not the case with all of the buildings in the Miami area, so if you have a pet that’s just like family, you will want to make sure your new home will accept them. With all of the other benefits that Akoya can offer, it makes sense to consider it when you are buying your next property.

What Did the Miami Real Estate Survey Show?

By Sunny Isles Real Estate Expert on August 5th, 2016

Miami Beach real estate

Bendixen & Amandi International along with the Miami Herald conducted a survey of 100 real estate professionals in the Miami area to learned quite a bit about the real estate market in Miami-Dade and the outlook the professionals have for the city. The results are quite telling, and they are quite promising. Let’s take a quick look at some of the most important information gleaned from the survey.

What Miami Neighborhood Is the Hottest?

This was naturally one of the most important questions for many who looked at the results of the survey, and the answer wasn’t really much of a surprise. Far and away, Miami Beach was the hottest area of the city, and also the most overvalued. Consider the sheer number of different neighborhoods in the Miami Beach area. There are islands, single family homes and estates, brand new and preconstruction towers – (View list of pre-construction properties in Miami), and older remodeled towers. All of these areas in Miami Beach are popular and the homes in those locations tend to sell out quickly.

They agree that those who are retiring, as well as the empty nest couples, might want to move to Miami Beach. This is especially true if you are looking for a condominium.

Little Havana Could Surprise You

Another one of the things learned from the survey is the fact that Little Havana is undervalued. However, this could change soon. The community is close to the hottest urban areas, as well as public transportation and plenty of things to do for residents. Many of the real estate professionals feel it is ripe for gentrification, and it could be where developments and real estate pros start to push next.

More Lessons Learned from the Survey

In addition, the survey has helped to shine a light on some other important facts about the area’s real estate market. For starters, the inventory is higher than it has been, and many of the real estate pros consider the current market to have a “high inventory”. What does this mean? It means that right now is actually a good time to buy, but it is not a great time to sell.

Even though the inventory is high, the majority of the available properties are higher than the $200,000 range. They feel that it would be nice if there were some more homes that were in this range and lower, as it means more people could buy. Right now, the trend is toward renting rather than buying for many who simply don’t have the budget.

Coral Gables is doing quite well, which is to be expected for one of the top communities in Miami Beach. Those who are looking for single-family homes in the Miami Beach area will certainly want to check out what Coral Gables has to offer.

These are some of the most important pieces of information from the report. It’s an interesting survey that can help not only real estate agents who are working in the area, but those who want to buy as well.

Panama Papers Show Secret Money Tied to Luxury Miami Real Estate

By Sunny Isles Real Estate Expert on June 23rd, 2016

Miami real estate

As you’re probably aware by now, at the beginning of April, the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists dropped a bombshell when they published leaked documents that have since become known as the Panama Papers. In total, there are some 11 million documents which allegedly make clear that worldwide corruption is happening thanks to a clandestine financial network that ensures large sums of money never get taxed.

Ties to Miami Real Estate

If some of the information is accurate, the network has fingerprints all over Miami. For years, it’s been well known that the luxury real estate market here is eyed by buyers all over the world, many of whom make purchases anonymously. This was seen as one of the driving forces behind the Miami luxury condo boom – click here to see the website.

Now, though, a much different picture is being brought to light—one that depicts these beautiful homes as simply hiding places for billions of dollars.

Shell Companies and Condos

The way it would allegedly work is that the law firm of Mossack Fonseca would set up foreign shell companies for the wealthy members of this network. This is the firm that the leak originated from and, as they’re based in Panama, that’s how the name started.

A client of Mossack Fonseca’s could then put money into one of these shell companies and that organization would then purchase a luxury unit somewhere in Miami—we’re definitely not lacking for options, after all.

This sort of transaction would effectively hide the money from governments looking to levy taxes on people like Paulo Octávio Alves Pereira, just one man who was allegedly a part of this scheme.

Paulo Octávio Alves Pereira

In Brazil, Paulo Octávio Alves Pereira is known as a politician who is under indictment on charges of corruption. However, prior to his political life, he made his fortune by developing shopping centers throughout his home country.

When his old boss had to step down as governor of Brasilia after being arrested for bribery, Paulo Octávio Alves Pereira stepped in. However, he was quickly slapped with the same charges.

At some point, Pereira took an interest in Miami real estate, though. He purchased a beautiful unit at the luxurious St. Regis Bal Harbour, where 24-hour room service is just one of many amenities available to residents.

However, this would make him just one of 19 foreign nationals named in the report who reportedly bought properties in Miami-Dade County. He also makes a much more exclusive list as being one of the eight who has been linked to some type of crime back in their home countries.

The U.S. Treasury Department’s Own Investigation

Keep in mind that the U.S. Treasury Department had launched its own investigation just a couple months ago into these shadowy dealings. They specifically took aim at the shell companies that were scooping up real estate for anonymous buyers and paying in cash.

Considering foreign nationals spent $6.1 billion in South Florida homes last year, the department certainly has its work cut out for them, though the Panama Papers definitely help.

Super Rich? Miami Is the 12th Top City for You

By Sunny Isles Real Estate Expert on May 31st, 2016

1000 Museum Miami Zaha Hadid

For those of us who live in or around Miami, it comes as no surprise that there is a lot of money here. Sure, there’s been a bit of a slowdown recently to our famous condo market, but that hasn’t done much to stop the ultra-wealthy from making Miami their home (or at least one of them). According to Knight Frank, though, our beautiful city is actually the 12th best place for the super rich to live.

Dropping Out of the Top 10

Knight Frank made these comments to the Real Deal last month. Although it’s definitely good news—wealthy people bring lots of money—there’s a bit of bad mixed in with it too.

As it turns out, Miami was actually ranked number six last year. This year, we fell out of the top 10 by a fair amount. Still, it’s not like we’re not in good company. Tokyo is right ahead of us. Furthermore, 12th place makes us second place for cities in the United States. New York City took the cake there.

Still, are you curious what caused us to slip?

A Dent in Foreign Currencies

Unfortunately, it’s mostly out of our control. Frank claims that weakening Latin American currencies are actually to blame.

On top of that, it doesn’t help that the U.S. dollar has been getting stronger. While it’s definitely good for the economy as a whole, a lot of foreign currencies simply don’t have the buying power they once did, meaning investors from other countries will look for other opportunities.

Frank even said that he regarded this drop in the rankings as nothing more than a “blip.”

For his part, he recommended keeping an eye on Coconut Grove and Miami Beach as the top neighborhoods in Miami for future investment opportunities.

The Top 10

As we mentioned above, we lost to Tokyo, which came in at number 11. The rest of the top 10 looks like this:

1. London
2. New York City
3. Singapore
4. Hong Kong
5. Dubai
6. Shanghai
7. Paris
8. Sydney
9. Beijing
10. Geneva

Making the List in 2017

Hopefully, Frank is right and Miami bounces back next year. Again, wealthy people represent money and opportunity for the rest of us.

That being said, there’s some reason to remain cautious with your optimism. The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network began requiring that title insurance companies essentially verify the identity of anyone who wishes to purchase property in Miami.

Why is this a big deal? Well, there are suspicions that much of the money that helped the condo market explode in the last few years is coming from foreign shell companies that operate as illegal tax havens.

While it’s good to ensure these investors aren’t breaking the law, cutting them off could hurt Miami’s economy.

At the end of the day, Miami is still an amazing place to live and people are going to continue trying to find a home in Miami to enjoy this incredible city. Still, here’s hoping our economy picks up again and we start making some progress on that list for next year.

Bay Harbor Islands Going Under Massive Redevelopment

By Sunny Isles Real Estate Expert on May 24th, 2016

Miami real estate for sale

Bay Harbor Islands – (view website) sits between North Miami to the west and Bal Harbor and Surfside to the east and was once the best place you could visit to see mid-century Miami Modern style architecture—often called MiMo—in the entire country. Recently, though, it’s become clear change is coming.

Some of Miami’s Best Architects

In many ways, Bay Harbor Islands can be seen as a gallery for many of Miami’s best architects. Head to Bay Harbor’s East Island and you’ll find a number of low-slung apartments and condos that were designed by legends like:

• Henry Hohauser
• Morris Lapidus
• Charles McKirahan

They took the art deco style that was so widespread in Miami during the 1930s and pulled it into the MiMo designs that cropped up during the middle of the 20th century.

The famous Bay Harbor Continental, a co-op building in a curvy wedge shape that is anchored by a cylindrical outdoor staircase, was created by McKirahan in 1948. It also features multi-colored glass that dots certain portions of the exterior.

McKirahan is also to thank for the Bay Harbor Club, the two-story V-shaped building located right on the water with great beanpole columns going from the ground all the way to the ceiling. Fans of the TV series Dexter would most likely recognize it as the main character’s home.

Times Are Changing

Although much of this history is worth maintaining, there’s a reason the National Trust for Historic Preservation named East Island to their annual list of their “11 Most Endangered Historic Places” back in 2014.

Many examples of MiMo architecture have already been demolished, though plenty more are awaiting their date with the wrecking ball.

What will this secluded portion of Miami become in its next life?

If current trends are anything to go by, it’s going to transition into boutique living. The area is truly a hidden gem. It offers a great location to anyone who wants to get around the city or hit downtown. Of course, if you want to visit the beach, you’re almost always within walking distance. This means plenty of waterfront views too.

Furthermore, the area benefits from an excellent school district. There are also Bal Harbour Shops nearby to enjoy too.

Its greatest feature, though, may simply be a sense of community. Whereas other areas throughout the city are expansive, Bay Harbor Island’s odd positioning gives it a small town feeling, despite all the big city amenities that are within driving distance.

Although most people who can afford these new developments will definitely have enough money for an automobile, public transportation in Bay Harbor Islands is very accommodating.

There is a free shuttle that runs between 9am and 5pm, Monday through Friday. It makes stops in North Miami, Surfside and other popular locations. There are also public bus routes people can jump on too.

While Bay Harbor Islands definitely had a good run, it’s clear that the time for change has arrived. Hopefully, much of the amazing architecture the area is known for will remain and new examples of Miami’s top talent can find a home as well.

Check out homes for sale in Bay Harbour Islands HERE – and call our office to set up showing – (305) 336-0457.