Buyers finding less to choose from as luxury property prices increase

Aleksandra Marzec

People think the hottest activity in South Beach takes place at the clubs, but Miami Beach and the Greater Miami area are also seeing the residential real estate market heating up, as well. As prices of luxurious homes and condominiums here begin to rise after years of decline, the inventory of available properties has begun to shrink. Low interest rates for those using financing and a strong influx of foreign investors paying cash have created an interesting scenario for those who have been considering buying a luxury property in Miami Beach.

Fewer properties on the market results in an increase in what sellers may expect for their property, and locally, prices have been experiencing steady growth. In Miami-Dade, the median sales price of condominiums surged 40.4 percent to $131,950 in February compared to a year earlier, according to the Miami Association of Realtors. The median sales price of single-family homes rose 19 percent to $175,000.

The accelerated demand for bankowned properties and improvements in the processing of short sales has resulted in rapid absorption of listings, and has contributed to rising prices in South Florida. Still, the bulk of purchases continue to be from buyers who pay with cash, and many of them are international purchasers.

Other data supports the increase in sales activity as prices started to stabilize and are now inching upwards. In 2009, the year many consider the bottom of the market, there were 42 luxury waterfront homes sold in Miami Beach, with an average per square foot price of $702. By 2011, that number reached 75, at an average per square foot sales price of $769.

Along with my business partner, Sandra Osorio (The Alex and Sandra Team), we specialize in luxury real estate and work out of the Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate’s Miami Beach Office. We have both noticed a decided increase in activity within the higher end of the market, particularly from international clientele. We speak with many Brazilians, Canadians, Russians – people from around the world who are seeing that this local market is really an excellent opportunity to own a piece of paradise here on the Beach, and that now is the time to act.

The international allure of life in Miami Beach means countless celebrities, sports stars and entertainers from all around the world choose to either live here full time, or enjoy a trip to their vacation home or condo here, and the real estate market reflects that. Recent sales of some of Miami Beach’s most luxurious homes and condominiums include retired tennis star Anna Kournikova’s Sunset Island estate for $7,425,000 and Ricky Martin’s North Bay Road home for $10,600,000. Other star-studded real estate news shows Rosie O’Donnell just listed her Star Island estate on the market for $19,500,000, after having paid $6,750,000 for the 11,000 square foot home in 1999. In fact, Star Island has seen several ultra-luxe properties change hands in the past 6 months. Two vacant home sites were recently sold for a little more than $8,000,000 each, and 29 Star Island Drive, home to famous shoe designer Donald Pliner, was recently put on the market for $19,999,999.

We have such a vibrant and cosmopolitan vibe here, with events like Art Basel, Mercedes–Benz Fashion Week, and so many more – it’s no wonder so many people want to call Miami Beach home. The affluent know where to invest and how to do it wisely, and many are seeing that today’s local real estate climate means now is the right time to act.

As the summer heat looms just around the corner, the Miami Beach luxury real estate market is also showing many positive signs of heating up as well.

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1 Comment on "Buyers finding less to choose from as luxury property prices increase"

  1. Hmm.. Rates of Miami beach property are increasing year over year. So this is the right time to purchase property in Miami beach to get some profit in the future.

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