Popularity Grows for Ritz Carlton Residences

By Sunny Isles Real Estate Expert on September 22nd, 2016

Aqua Allison Island for sale

The Ritz Carlton Residences are a preconstruction project that will be going up on Miami Beach – CLICK HERE to view the site. This is going to be a residential only complex, and it will include 111 condo units, as well as 15 private single family villas.

Features of the Ritz Carlton Residences

When you are choosing a place to live, you will want to make sure that the building has some great amenities, naturally. The Ritz Carlton name is synonymous with luxury, and this new project is no exception. The building features a 24-hr concierge, as well as an onsite restaurant. You can enjoy spending some time in the screening room, or in the spa. The beautiful pool, with its waterfalls, is a nice place to spend some time and cool off. You can also spend some time getting healthier at the onside fitness center.

Some of the other benefits of the building include cabanas, yoga studios, a game room, an area to walk the dog, a pet grooming room, facilities to wash your vehicle, a library, pools, and much more.

Wide Range of Floor Plans

Those who choose to buy at the Ritz Carlton Residences in Miami will find that they have a huge range of floor plans from which they can choose. In fact, there are 60 distinct floor plans. You can choose from one, two, three, four, and five-bedroom options. Keep in mind that there are villas available as well. The size of the properties will vary quite a bit as well – from 1,700 square feet to more than 10,000 square feet.

What Do the Residences Offer?

The homes that are available here have a lot of features that help to make them a good buy. They have high ceilings, as well as large terraces and summer kitchens in some of the residences. Cooking outdoors in the summer is always nice, and the terraces are large enough to do some entertaining. They have designer cabinets and fixtures, as well as stone countertops, laundry rooms, hurricane resistant windows, and more. The units will be able to provide true luxury living for you and your family. They have plenty to offer.

The fact that there are also villas available helps to set this project apart from many of the other buildings in the area. There are only going to be 15 of these, and they will likely go very fast, as many people like the added privacy that they can offer, and they may prefer the layout. However, as you can see from the rest of the features and amenities, the condo units are going to be quite impressive as well.

With all that that Ritz Carlton Residences have to offer, it is easy to see why this building is becoming as popular as it is even though it is still in preconstruction. If you like the idea of living in this building, you will want to speak with Lana Bell, one of the top realtor’s in Miami. Lana is with One Sotheby’s International Realty and have achieved top agent in Miami-Dade and Broward counties combined in 2014 and 2015. Please feel free to call Lana at (305) 336-0457.

Living at Aqua on Allison Island

By Sunny Isles Real Estate Expert on September 21st, 2016

Aqua Allison Island for sale

Aqua Allison Island real estate is a small island that’s located between Miami Beach and La Gorce Island, and it has become a popular place to call home. One of the best places to call home on the island is Aqua on Allison Island. This condo community has a lot to love. The design is very eye-catching. It has a definite art deco feel with some brilliant colors.

What Does the Community Offer?

The community has heated pools available for children and adults, as well as a spa. Those who want to keep in shape can do so at the fitness center. You can also walk through the mango and citrus groves, spend some time on the jogging paths, and admire the art installations that have been added to the area.

You can also make use of the private docks. This is very handy for those who own watercraft, and those who want to buy a boat. There is a children’s play center, as well as private garages so you can keep your vehicles safe.

What Do the Residences Offer?

While the community has a lot to love, you are probably wondering just what type of units are available and what they offer. You can expect gorgeous, luxury units that have all of the amenities you could need. Aqua at Allison Island offers wraparound balconies, as well as 10’ ceilings. They also have designer kitchen fixtures and brand name kitchen appliances. There is beautiful wood cabinetry, as well as high end fixtures throughout the units. The units also have whirlpool tubs.

After you spend a long day at work or at play out on the beaches and in the city, you will love coming back home to Aqua. The homes have everything you could possibly need whether you are going to call the place home year round or you are just using it for a vacation property.

Privacy and a Great Location

Other reasons to consider Aqua at Allison Island include the privacy that it offers and the fantastic location. Since you are on an island, it means that it is going to be quite a bit more private and secluded when you compare it to some of the other areas to call home in Miami Beach. This might be just what you and your family want. Of course, since you are still so close to the heart of Miami Beach, you will find that it is just a short drive to all of the great things that you want to see and do.

You can head to Miami Beach, go into downtown Miami, and find plenty of fantastic places to shop and dine. Whether you need to head to Miami or Fort Lauderdale for work or for pleasure, it’s easy to do from Allison Island thanks to the bridge.

If you love the idea of living in Miami Beach, but you’ve always wanted to find a place that has some more privacy and plenty of waterfront, this could be the place for you. Check out all currently available properties on Allison Island here – www.sunnyislesmiamirealestate.com/Miami-Beach/Aqua-Allison-Island/

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.

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.

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.

What Does $35 Million Get You in Sunny Isles Beach?

By Sunny Isles Real Estate Expert on July 22nd, 2016

Regalia Penthouse For Sale

Sunny Isles Beach in Miami is one of the most beautiful and exclusive places to live in the country. A big part of that is due to the stunning condominium complexes in the area, which never fail to impress. One of the new condos recently unveiled is at the luxury oceanfront complex called Regalia – click this link to view the site – www.sunnyislesmiamirealestate.com/Sunny-Isles-Beach/Regalia/. One of the condo-penthouses in Regalia is up for sale for a record price of $35 million. Even though many of the homes in the Sunny Isles region are opulent and expensive, this one outdoes the others. Many of you are probably wondering just what that amount of money will get you. It gets you plenty, as you will see.

What Does the Home Offer?

This Regalia penthouse, called the Beach House, has 17,015 square feet of space, and it should be finished by the summer. It takes up the third and the fourth floors of the Regalia, which is a beautiful and impressive building in its own right.

It features six bedrooms, including two master bedrooms. Those who make the Beach House their home will also have six full baths and two half baths, as well as a pool bath. The ceiling in the great room is double-height to make the space even more impressive. The great room also has a floating cantilevered staircase that leads to the wraparound terrace, as well as the art gallery mezzanine.

On the third floor, there is a 360-degree balcony. The fourth floor also has a balcony, but doesn’t go quite all the way around – only 270 degrees. Both of the balconies have some gorgeous views though. It is possible to see the Atlantic Ocean, Miami Beach, and more. The Beach House has glass paneled pools on the balconies, as well as a fire pit, outdoor kitchen, and other amenities that will make entertaining easy.

Regalia Sunny Isles Penthouse

While the exterior of the home is stunning, the interior offers quite a bit to love as well. The game lounge measures 2,000 square feet and features a theater, a billiards table, an 85-inch surround sound television, and more. the home has a 600-bottle wine cellar, a champagne bar, a full spa and Jacuzzi, designer lighting, and smart controls for the shades. The owner can use these controls to change the music, temperature, television, and more.

The Beach House has quartz countertops, limestone floors, bronze cabinet bars, and so much more. This is truly a luxurious house. Even though it has a $35 million price tag, the features and amenities in the home and the building are all worth the price.

Other Expensive and Luxurious Condos in the Area

While Regalia’s Beach House is certainly one of the most impressive condos in the area, there are a number of other high-priced properties in Miami as well. Some of the most well-known include the $55 million Penthouse at Faena House, which offers 12,516 square feet, eight bedrooms and nine bathrooms. It also has a rooftop pool that’s 70’ long. For $53 million, you could choose the penthouse at SoFi Tower. It is 6,307 square feet, and offers four bedrooms, five bathrooms, and two half baths.

As you can see, there is no shortage of luxury in Miami. It’s a wonderful place to call home, especially when you start looking at all of the high-end condos.

A Healthy Slowdown For Southern Florida Real Estate

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

Flatiron Miami condo

Between the amazing weather, the beaches and the unique culture, it’s no wonder so many people from all over the world look to make Miami their new home every year. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that there are so many amazing luxury homes and condos here to choose from too. Miami doesn’t lack for many things: incredible ocean views, new modern luxury condominiums, warm climate and ocean all-year-round, vibrant night life and top-of-the-line restaurants.

For the past several years Miami’s real estate was fueled by foreign buyers, but due the strong US dollar and domestic economy, there are less foreign buyers now. However, there are more American buyers currently on the market than ever before. The same goes for the real estate developers – more and more enter the Miami market with the mega condo projects, thus creating too much supply.
At the moment, it looks as though Miami has more new properties for sale than the demand for them. The result has been a version of survival of the fittest that threatens to kill off many developments before they can reach fruition.

Brickell Flatiron

One example of this could be Brickell Flatiron – see the website here, though it should be noted that the development of this new building still appears to be underway. Construction only just commenced this past March, but the developer—an Italian named Ugo Colombo who has been active in South Florida real estate for over 30 years — has been selling units for two years now. These units cost between $500,000 and $2 million, which is actually quite reasonable by the area’s standards.
Colombo has said, though, he hasn’t had to reduce the prices on any units. According to a number of local experts, deals are definitely taking longer to make, but that wouldn’t necessarily mean developers are finding it necessary to offer discounts on high-end properties.

A Healthy Slowdown

Another thing Colombo recently said that is of interest is that he feels the current slowdown is healthy. For years, now, Miami has been abuzz with people looking to buy new homes and condos. It was a nice way of saying goodbye to the recession.

As we’ve mentioned, though, things have slowed down considerably. It’s not recession-bad, but it’s still a noticeable change of pace.
When you consider some of the elements that brought about the mortgage crisis, it’s easy to agree with Colombo. A slowdown could be viewed as a correction, letting the market catch up with the enthusiasm of developers before they overextend themselves.

Planned Developments Getting the Axe

Still, it’s impossible to ignore that this slowdown has made some major impacts to Southern Florida’s economy. Most noticeable is the number of planned projects that are no longer in development.
For example, Krystal Tower was going to be a 35-story condo complex in Miami. Gulfstream Park Tower would have stood 27 stories in Hallandale Beach; that’s no longer happening. Oceanbleau was a 17-story building meant for Hollywood; once again, it’s been shelved.

The list goes on and on. Since 2011, 414 towers have been built or are in the process in the tri-county region. That’s 50,230 new condos—many of which carry large price tags.
At the moment, that means that only the best possible projects will be allowed to move forward in Southern Florida. However, what the actual implications of this development will be has yet to be seen.

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.

Was the WSJ Right in Predicting a Condo Bust in Miami?

By Sunny Isles Real Estate Expert on May 15th, 2016

Miami real estate for sale

Back in March, Anthony M. Graziano, MAI, CRE was interviewed by the Wall Street Journal. As he is the Senior Managing Director of IRR Miami, it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that the article was about real estate in South Florida. However, what surprised many was the headline that accompanied the actual piece: “Another Condo Bust Looms in Miami.”

Graziano Responds

Well, as it turns out, no one was more surprised by the headline than Mr. Graziano himself. In his own OpEd, Graziano responded, saying he was “shocked” at how “sensationalized” the headline was.

Until the reporter issues a reply, we’ll never know exactly what they were thinking. As Graziano points out in his OpEd, this definitely isn’t the first time there’s been some kind of disconnect between what a source said or meant and what the reporter put into their piece. Still, in this case, it would seem the latter wildly missed the mark.

It’s also worth noting here that reporters don’t always choose their own headlines, so an editor could actually be the one to blame.

So What’s the Truth?

As any realtor in Miami will tell you, the condo market has definitely slowed considerably. In fact, many projects have been shelved and stopped at various points in their development.
That’s hardly the same thing as predicting a bust in the condo market, though. If you look at the past 12 to 18 months of the market here, you’ll definitely see it slowing down, but there aren’t any sudden drops or any signs that one is just about to happen.

Plenty of Good News

Keep in mind, too, that this slowdown may actually be a good example of developers and investors reacting to the market instead of recklessly pressing forward. That’s how an actual bust could happen.

Instead, shelving certain projects may have had the intended effect of correcting the market’s over-enthusiasm for more condos.

Consider, for example, that 85% of condos currently under construction in the Greater Downtown area of Miami are slated to be finished in 2016 and are already sold.

Furthermore, 7,200 units that are under construction will be delivered over the course of the next three years. In 2006, before an actual bust really did occur, that number was 18,500. Click HERE to view Pre-construction condos in Miami

Over 80% of the condo sales that went through over the past three years were purchased entirely with cash. This speaks to the foreign interest that exists in buying condos here. However, this also means that there won’t be any foreclosures resulting in empty condos long after they’ve been taken off the market.

For his part, Graziano doesn’t see a bust waiting on the horizon. He did, however, advise people to exercise caution and carry out due diligence where new deals are concerned. This is good advice to take no matter what the market is doing.

Until more buyers enter the market, you can probably expect the slowdown to continue throughout Miami, but that’s hardly the same thing as ushering in the crash of an entire industry.