Miami real estate

Real estate loans in South Florida have traditionally been large – they have to be to accommodate the price of property in Miami-Dade and the surrounding counties. However, those loans are getting larger. The biggest banks in SoFla are now routinely offering real estate loans 10% larger than previous financing packages, marking another year of significant growth for SoFla.

A Look at the Growth

In 2014, the 15 largest banks in South Florida managed to expand their real estate loan portfolios by over 10%, the FDIC reports. This growth wasn’t relegated to Miami-Dade County alone. Broward and Palm Beach counties also saw significant growth. Most of the growth occurred in increased loan volume through acquisitions. However, there’s also organic growth occurring in the market. It’s not all about acquisitions. New residents and new businesses are steadily streaming into South Florida. In total, the loan expansion included construction and land development packages, as well as multifamily, residential and commercial mortgage loans. (Click here to research Miami real estate)

The Largest Increases

While the 10%+ increase was across all 15 of SoFla’s biggest banks, not all financial institutions saw the same growth. The single largest increase came from Florida Community Bank, based in Weston, FL. FCB experienced a 55% jump in loan amounts, going from $1.6 billion in 2013 to $2.4 billion in 2014. Part of that growth stemmed from FCB’s $596 million acquisition of Great Florida Bank of Coral Gables.

Another high performer was Stonegate Bank out of Fort Lauderdale, which saw a 54.5% increase in real estate loans (rising past the $1 billion mark from just over half a million the year before). SBoFL acquired Florida Shores Bancorp, as well as that company’s subsidiaries to add $555 million.

Capital Bank, based in the city of Miami but also serving Tennessee, as well as North and South Carolina, also added to its success. It purchased $46 million in residential mortgages to create a 5-year total of $4.7 billion.

Where the Rejuvenation Starts

The growth in loans has been significant, just short of staggering. There are several attributable factors here, but one of the major ones is the creation of the Brickell City Centre (Click here to view the project), which BankUnited’s Florida president said was one of the hotspots in the area fueling his bank’s growth and success. Others point to the approval of the creation of Miami Worldcenter, as well as Miami SkyRise and other high-profile developments in town.

However, it’s not all about new projects. There’s also less leverage out there, which banks have cited as creating a healthier financial market in the first place. “Florida is back,” stated BankUnited’s Florida president, Thomas Cornish. A quick look at the various industries served by the 15 largest banks in SoFla certainly seems to hold up that assertion, with residential mortgages increasing by almost 12%, commercial real estate loans growing by 12.3% and multifamily loans growing by 6.7%.

All in all, 2014 has been a banner year for Florida’s banks, but also for homebuyers, construction companies and businesses of all types.


Miami real estate for sale

The real estate investment market in the US has undergone some significant shifts over time. Back during the recession, it tanked right along with the residential real estate market. It’s improved since then, as have most residential markets around the country. However, not all areas have experienced the same resurgence. For investors, that means it’s more important than ever before to choose the right area. Low entry prices aren’t the only thing to look for, and can actually be a sign that a market isn’t as healthy as it could be. More and more, investors are turning to South Florida, and to Miami in particular. Why is that?

Natural Advantages

One of the reasons for Florida’s rank as the top real estate market in the country is that it is rich in natural resources. It’s an undeniably beautiful place, whether you relish sitting on the beach, hitting the links or exploring untamed wilderness. There are swamps, hills, beaches, well-developed urban areas and more. It’s also warm year round, which makes it a natural destination for those who don’t enjoy the cold.

Man-made Attractions

In addition to the natural beauty and splendor of the state, you’ll find that it’s rich in human development. We touched on some of those above, but you’ll find much more. The oldest European settlement in America is in Florida, and there’s a lot more here, from museums to art galleries, from shopping malls to entertainment venues. It’s easy to reach pretty much anything you might want to do from virtually anywhere in the state, too.

Why Miami Rules It All

When it comes to Florida’s real estate market (click here to research Miami real estate market) , you’ll find that the south is more popular than the north, and in South Florida, Miami and the greater Miami-Dade area are the undisputed rulers. What makes Miami such an incredible place? You name it – South Beach, Sunny Isles Beach, downtown Miami and the list goes on and on. From deep sea fishing charters to ultra-high end shopping and dining, it’s all here, and it’s all within easy reach. A short drive from Miami is the beauty and jetsetter atmosphere of South Beach. Head up the road a bit and you’ll be in Bal Harbour, or venture into Sunny Isles Beach, or any of the other communities that make up greater Miami.

In all of those areas, you’ll find that the real estate market is hot, and getting hotter by the day. Luxury condo properties are going up by the score (on top of the many already in existence). There’s also a significant influx of major corporations. You’ll find that Nokia, Kraft and HP all have a huge presence in the area, as does Oracle, Microsoft and more. That equates to jobs, certainly, but it also caters to an upwardly mobile, affluent crowd that’s eager to get into owning their own home and have a preference for luxury properties.
South Florida is the ideal option for real estate investment, and Miami is its crowning jewel.


Miami Beach condos for sale

According to recent reports, the pocket listings, or off the market listings, in the South Florida region have gone up quite a bit over the past year. In fact, they’ve risen by about ten percent in that time. One reason for this is simply that people want to have more privacy when selling and they feel that it can offer less of a hassle. Pocket listings may work well in some situations, as evidenced by this increase, but they may not always be the right solution.

What Are Pocket Listings?

For those who are new to the real estate term, a pocket listing is simply the phrase used for a listing that is not in the MLS. This often happens because clients want to have a bit more privacy when they are selling a home. This type of listing often happens when the sellers have luxury properties for sale. They want to have more secrecy and privacy when it comes to their viewings, as well as negotiations. Ultimately, it is a marketing decision, but it is not always to the benefit of the seller.

What sellers really need to remember when they choose a pocket listing is that they are limiting the pool of eligible and potential buyers. While this might seem like a smart move since it focuses on getting only the buyers who have a real interest in the property, and it makes the showings easier, it could affect the price. With a smaller number of buyers, it can limit the price potential for the seller in some cases.

Additionally, brokers will have to beware of sellers and buyers who might not be willing to sign a contract with them, essentially pushing them out of the deal once they have the contacts they need. There is also a chance that the seller could back out on the deal or might decide to raise the price. Some feel that the increase in pocket listings could have another negative effect on the market for agents though. It becomes difficult for appraisers and agents to get real comps for properties they are selling in the area.

Of course, in some cases, this type of sale really is the best option. Consider those sellers who have true luxury properties. They do not want to open their home up to the public. They know they need to have a certain type of buyer with a certain amount of money, and opening the home up to everyone who wants to come through and “take a look” will bring them nothing but headaches.

Discuss It with a Broker

Those who are selling their properties and who are considering a pocket listing should actually take the time to talk to their broker about the possibility. Brokers and agents will have the experience to let the seller know whether going with a pocket listing really would be a good idea for their property or not. They have the experience to help sellers with the decision.

Our office has several pocket listings in the Sunny Isles Beach area as well as Miami Beach (view Sunny Isles listings for sale here). Please feel free to contact us regarding our pocket listings.


Sunny Isles Real Estate

Everyone in real estate remembers the “good old days” of the pre-recession era, when the prices of homes were high and developers and realtors were able to sell home after home. It seemed as though there would be no end to the golden days. Of course, everyone knows what happened next. The perfect storm of bad things started to come together. This stew of trouble really hit in 2007, and the real estate market has still not entirely returned to form. While things are getting better, there is still a long ways to go, as you will see.

First, it’s important to look at what caused that initial downfall back in 2007. In fact, it was the aforementioned stew, or blend, of issues that helped to tear down the real estate market.

What Caused the Fall?

One of the first problems was the fact that the banks seemed willing to lend to nearly anyone who wanted to buy a home. It seemed like a great time for anybody to buy property, but it turned out that many people bought without understanding their contracts. They bought more than they could afford and when the real recession hit, they couldn’t pay. The economic downfall coupled with the issues of properties being more expensive than people could actually afford was too much.

Everything fell apart, and it took years before things even started to get close to normal. In fact, we still did not reach those pre-recession prices. According to Zillow, the value of property in some parts of South Florida is still about 36% lower than what the prices were at their height in 2006. Other parts, of course, like Miami and Sunny Isles Real Estate (click to see Sunny Isles properties here). They also go on to say that, according to the current growth rate and patterns, they will not return to that high until sometime in 2019.

South Florida hit their low mark in 2011. Fortunately, there was a huge turnaround in 2012 and 2013. However, even though they did help the counties of Palm Beach, Broward, and Miami-Dade to recover quite a bit, the increases have started to slow. While there is certainly still interest in the area, the interest does not seem to be as “fast and furious” as it had been. This could be due to the home prices starting to go back up.

Slower Growth Might Be Good

Is the slower growth really a problem though? The speed at which the market prices rose before was a part of the problem. By growing slower, and growing at a natural rate, it may actually end up being a much safer and stable place to invest in the end. However, this does mean that many of the homeowners who are already in homes they bought a year or so ago will want to stay in their homes for at least three of four more years so they can get back to the breakeven point. Still, this is far less time when compared to how long it will take full recovery to reach many other areas of the country that had far more of a severe real estate drop.

Overall, the projections are very positive with real estate in South Florida as well as the rest of the country continue to flourish and appreciate, which means that now is still a great time to buy real estate.


Miami Beach Homes For Sale

According to data coming straight from S&P/Case-Shiller, the prices for homes in the Miami region have been on the rise. In fact, the price of homes rose by 13.2% between May of 2013 and May of 2014. They show that there has been relatively stable and steady growth over the past year of more than one percent each month. While they are strong, it is important to take a realistic look at the growth, and to realize that it is slowing over what it has been the past couple of years.

Is Slowing a Bad Thing?

It is important to remember that just because the growth rate is slowing down a bit in Miami and other areas, that’s not always a bad thing. The growth hasn’t been stagnated. This means that even though it’s somewhat slower, the prices still appreciate but at a slower rate. In fact, the city and surrounding area is doing better than the rest of the United States in respect to the home price increases. It is important to keep this in mind.

Something else that is important to remember is that a beginning of a slow down period for the real estate market at this time is natural. It went through a recent big recovery phase, and now that things are getting back to normal, having slightly slower price increases is predictable. It is actually a good thing, as it ensures that the market does not get into a “buuble” like state, which is what happened seven years ago.

Will the Homes Ever Reach Record Highs Again?

While it’s impossible to predict the future, one has to think about where the city of Miami, as well as the United States will be financially in the upcoming years. It is also important to consider what will happen in all of the other countries with foreigners who like investing in Miami properties. If those countries have their own financial issues, as Argentina is going through right now, then it could put a bit of a damper on the sales. It all depends on a wide range of different factors.

However, experts in the field, not to mention the developers and realtors who are working in Miami, have a great feeling about the state of real estate in the South Florida. They feel that within about six years, the prices of homes should be about the same as they were before the recession. It just takes time to recover entirely, but it is inevitable.

Consider just how much money and effort so many developers are putting into completing their current properties and building new properties all around South Florida. Since they are building these new properties, and they have presales, it shows that people still have quite an interest in buying properties in the area. With all of the projects coming up in the next couple of years, it really does not seem as though the Miami real estate market is in any trouble at all. It’s just a matter of time before full recovery.


Many foreigners are investing quite heavily in the South Florida region, especially in Miami condos (view home page for Miami condos here) and that’s great news for developers and agents looking to move property. Many of the buyers are from Argentina, and they’ve been a steady source of sales through much of this latest real estate boom. However, recent financial issues in Argentina have been causing many in the real estate market to wonder just how it might affect them.

The Cause…

The credit rating agency called Standard & Poor’s provides credit ratings for nations. The rating they gave to Argentina in August of 2014 was less than favorable. In fact, they were in default according to the agency because they did not make interest payments to bond holders on their debt. The restructured debt for the country is in the area of $13 billion, and this is not the first time the country missed those payments.

This is actually the eighth time in the history of the country that they’ve not been able to pay, and it is the second time since 2001 that this has happened. This is an important year to remember, as the default of 2001 caused a huge economic collapse in the country. In fact, this collapse was actually so bad that many of the people who lived in Argentina, and who had the means at the time, actually left the country for greener pastures. Many of them went to Spain and the United States. Miami was actually a popular destination.

The Effect…

What will happen this time around, and how could it affect the real estate market in the South Florida area? While it is still a bit too early to tell, there could be an impact on the economy, even though it could take several months or a year to really see and notice the changes. Hopefully, things will not be nearly as bad as they were in Argentina’s past.

While the Miami area might see some emigration from people coming from Argentina, one also has to consider the number of sales that have been coming from residents of the country over the past few years. The residents of Argentina, thanks to their interest in real estate in the South Florida area, were a huge factor in helping in the recovery from the real estate crash of seven years ago.

Reports say that in 2013, about 11% of the international buyers in Miami alone were from Argentina. They also made up a high percentage of buyers in other areas of Florida as well. If this number were to drop substantially, then it could cause a bit of a hit in the market. Realtors report that residents of Argentina accounted for nearly $6.4 billion in sales in the state a year ago.

If the economy begins struggling in Argentina, what will these buyers do? They will not necessarily be able to continue investing in Florida, as they will have other interests at home that concern them. They might simply not have the money to spend on real estate, and that is a cause for concern amongst many developers and realtors.

View Miami Real Estate Website Here


Miami preconstruction condos

Over the past couple of years, the Miami area has been going through a real estate renaissance, a real boom in the market. The sales of the units in all South Florida locations, and especially in Miami area has been quite brisk, and that led developers to building even more towers and adding more units to the market. Again, they continued, and they continue, to sell very well. In fact, there have been tens of thousands of new units proposed in the region since the boom started a couple of years ago in 2011. They’ve already sold close to 10,150 of the new proposed units just in the latest boom and they keep on selling. (view pre-construction Miami condos here)

Sales Stronger than the Past

Currently, there are 16,200 preconstruction units in the marketing and presale phase, and the number sold represents about 60% of the total. The other condos that are on the horizon and that have not yet started marketing and presales are still getting potential buyers excited, and it appears that the sales for the remaining units, and new units, will continue to go well.

One of the interesting things about the sales today is that the sellers of these preconstruction condos will generally require a number of deposits that will total about half of the overall purchase price. This is interesting because before the recession, the buyers were only required to put down a fraction of this amount – as low as 10% much of the time. This caused more buyers to put down money, although they may not have had the means to necessarily follow through and buy the home, which caused some issues, as one would imagine.

Higher Deposit Requirements Are a Good Idea

The requirement for the higher deposits makes more sense today, and it helps to keep the overall market much safer. Buyers who can pay the larger deposits have more of an interest in the property, and it tends to mean that they are economically capable of actually buying the home. Even though the construction deposits are higher today, when one looks at the demand and the excitement to buy in the area, it seems as though the higher prices have done nothing to slow down the purchases.

Reports say that 23 new condo towers going up in the area have already sold out, and that another 25 towers are reporting that they’ve sold about 90% of the units they are building. The enthusiasm is certainly still there when it comes to buying in South Florida.

How long will this boom last and how long will people still be willing to buy? While it is hard to predict exactly what will happen with the real estate market, things really are looking good in the South Florida area, and this does not look as though it will change anytime soon. The buyers still seem to be there and they still seem to be on the hunt for great properties whether they plan to live there, vacation there, or rent the units out as an investment property.

Our team specialized in Miami’s finest pre-construction condos. Please contact Lana Bell today for a consultation – (305) 336-0457


Miami Luxury Homes for sale

What do wealthy people want when they are buying a property? Naturally, they want many of the same things that everyone else does – a quality home in a good, safe neighborhood. However, according to a survey conducted by Sotheby’s International Realty, they want some very specific things when it comes to their dream homes, which they are actually able to afford. The survey took information from rich buyers in four different countries – Brazil, China, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

The Features of a Great Home According to the Affluent

The survey found that the wealthy in those different nations had slightly different ideas of what would constitute the perfect property. Namely, those who were from Brazil wanted a smart home, which is a home that features lighting, heating, and electronic devices, such as a television that you can control through a computer, tablet, or even a smartphone.

Those who were in China wanted a home that had plenty of space for a display of various types of art collections. Those in the United Kingdom had a penchant for properties that had some type of historic significance. Those who were in the United States wanted a lifestyle property that was on the waterfront. They also wanted to have a large enough garage for a collection of cars, and they even wanted to have input into the design of the home.

It turns out that homes on the water are actually rather important for most people who want to buy a new home, and who have the money to buy the type of property they want. As they say with real estate, it’s all about location, location, location. Being near the water was one of the top requirements, or desires, of people in all of the surveyed countries.

Of course, in addition to the location and the features of the home, wealthy buyers also wanted something that would give them a good return on their investment. The ROI was a key factor when it came to choosing a property. Those who are wealthy know how to stay wealthy and make money, so they tend to put their money into properties that are going to help make them money if they sell down the line.

Many said they did not intend to sell a few years later though. Instead, they were looking into buying legacy homes, which are homes that they could pass down through their family.

Luxury Leads the Way

Several years ago, the real estate market took quite a hit, and it has taken some time for it to start to recover. One of the big factors of recovery during that time though was the luxury market. Many wealthy buyers were still able to buy during those lean years, and they found that it was actually a good investment to do so.

The South Florida region was one of the areas that had suffered during that time, but things are going quite well in the area now. In fact, many of the homes in Miami, Sunny Isles, and nearby neighborhoods fit in quite well with the desires of the wealthy, at least according to Sotheby’s survey.

To view most expensive homes in Miami please following this link


Bal Harbour shops

Bal Harbour Shops has a reputation as a mall with high-end shops and boutiques that easily rivals any other mall or shopping destination around the country. Even shopping areas such as Rodeo Drive have a hard time coming close to what you can get in this South Florida mall. They already have some of the most expensive and exclusive shops in the world, and it seems as though they might be getting ready to add yet another one to their list. It appears that the famed Barneys New York could well have a place in the expanded mall very soon.

The store seems to be quite interested in aligning with Bal Harbour Shops, and the union really does make quite a bit of sense. Both are known for luxury and high-end merchandise. With the planned expansion, they need more stories, and this could be the perfect match.

The Expansion Is Massive

Already quite large, the mall is getting even larger. They plan to expand the mall to 350,000 square feet. This will include expanded or additional retail space and the addition of at least another twenty retail boutiques. Some of the shops said to be getting the expansion treatment include Saks and Neiman. The expansion will also include a community place on Collins Avenue, green space, and a luxury theater so visitors can see the latest movies in style. Overall, the estimated cost of this expansion is $300 million. They feel they should be able to complete it by 2018.

The mall wants to make sure that everyone in the community is happy with the project as well. After all, many of those people in the community are the ones who are supporting the stores in the mall. They listened to the community’s opinion as they were developing their plan, and feel that it should not have a negative effect on the community nor should it do anything to hamper traffic at all. They took 2.5 years to come up with an expansion plan that they felt should make everyone happy, including those living in the nearby residential community.

They recently held another meeting for the community, who were able to hear from the architects, as well as a traffic study consultant who could answer their questions about traffic. While they are still waiting for the final green light on the project, it appears as though it should go forward without any issues at all.

The Success of Bal Harbour Shops

The fact that Bal Harbour Shops is able to expand and continue to grow is a testament to the economy of the area. Around the country, many malls are actually shuttering their doors. With the mall being able to expand and thrive, it goes to show that the area is a great place to live and work.

The expansion of the mall, and the addition of Barneys New York should be able to give the mall an even higher profile, add new jobs to the community, and help to bring in even more money.

Click here to view Bal Harbour condos for sale


Miami Beach real estate

Recently, the City of Miami received final approval for their EB-5 Regional Center for Foreign Investment, which has the potential to allow many more foreign investors to start putting money into the economy. This particular designation will allow many foreigners, especially those who are from China, to be able to invest in properties in the South Florida area.

Why Is It Good For Investors And Good for Locals

Mayor of Miami, Tomas Regalado feels that the approval is going to be a very good thing for both the investors as well as for those who are living in the area. The program will actually let the city help foreign nationals who are trying to put more capital into the economy by giving them special immigration status. However, not just any investors will do. They need to invest at least half a million dollars into the area, and they have to be able to prove that within two years they’ve created a minimum of ten jobs.

They hope that the program will actually encourage more investors to take root in South Florida, and they feel that it has the potential to create thousands of new jobs. This fuels more economic growth for the region and makes it a better place for all who live there. Miami is one of the pioneers when it comes to this type of program, and you can bet that a number of other cities around the country will be waiting and watching to see what happens. If it is successful, there is a good chance that many more cities will follow with their own similar programs later.

Miami will become something of a model that the other local governments around the country can follow.

What Is the U.S. Immigrant Investor Program?

It’s important to take a deeper look at the program to learn more about what it entails and what advantages it has the potential to offer. First, it allows two-year residential status for qualifying investors and their families. This residential status is conditional. The investors will need to invest at least $1 million, or $500,000 in a “designated target area”. They need to invest in businesses that will be able to create at least ten jobs for American workers during those two years.

After those two years, if the investors are able to meet the above conditions for creating jobs and investment dollar requirements, then they will be able to apply for an receive unconditional permanent residency.

The program offers many benefits and advantages for the investors. First, it does not matter what age they are, how much business experience they have, or their language. The investors can be limited partners – they do not need to be managing the investment on a daily basis. Also, they do not need to be in the United States fulltime to manage their business. They can maintain the business from their country of origin.

The program is new and it remains to be seen just how effective it might be. Still, it’s an exciting opportunity, and it could be very good for Miami real estate – CLICK HERE to view current listings in Miami Beach.


Content published by Lana Bell

Content published by Lana Bell