Thursday, February 23, 2012

The Ever-Changing Miami Skyline

For over five years, Miami’s skyline has remained pretty much the same, however, that is about to change in a big way. For quite a while now, the skyscraping cranes which laced the horizon back in the real estate boom have been dismantled and put away not to be seen until now. In fact very little construction has been going on at all throughout the Greater-Miami area since. Mostly due to the over abundance of condos built during the boom years, the real estate market has struggled, yet effectively consuming the massive condo inventory.
Developers, who have always considered Greater Miami as an ever-growing and very popular venue, have slated 6 new developments for the Miami-Brickell and Downtown areas. Due to this, the towering crane will shortly become part of our skyline again.
Florida condo resales were up 65% in 2011. Out of the 23,000 downtown condos constructed during the boom years less than 2,000 remain unsold. A lot of this is due largely to the foreign buyers who see South Florida real estate as a good buy. These are mostly cash buyers from Central and South America, Canada, Europe and American from the northeast.
According the Miami Association of Realtor, International buyers account for 90% of all condo sales. According to the Miami Herald, which published the article ‘Condo-Mania 2.0 back in October 2011, “Builders believe that surging international demand is strong enough to support new condo towers.” 
The 6 new towers will add a total of 3,882 to our local real estate inventory, a small amount considering the boom numbers. The Genting Resort World Miami will be the largest project contributing 1,000 units to the supply. Next, Brickell CitiCentre with 755 units, followed by Brickell House and Sky Palace at Mary Brickell Village, each with over 300 units and last My Brickell with 192 units.
As previously mentioned, the current inventory is at the lowest it’s been since the boom. Although, the current dwindling condo inventory in the area has move prices considerably higher since last year, prices are still below what they are expected to be moving forward. New condos are being reserved and will soon be sold at pre-construction prices at about $300 to $350 a square foot. If all goes as planned we can expect these prices to go up, particularly when the investors begin resale. These prices will make the current average square foot of about $250 look like a fire sale to most foreign buyers.
For those of you who may be confused about what this means, I have this say; get moving and buy. There are still good buys out there, however, the current inventory will not last forever and the new coming online will be priced higher as price trend upward.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Smaller is Bigger!

Due to the aging population in the USA, home buyers over 55 are looking to down size to smaller but more efficient homes. According to Stephen Melman, spokesman for the National Association of Home Builders in Washington, D.C., “Retirees want smaller homes, but they also want houses to be smarter, in terms of energy efficiency and the usage of space.”

In Florida, real estate professional have been very successful in dealing with these needs for many years. Florida has always been a preferred destination for retirees and vacationers. Today, many local builders continue to head the trend towards smaller and greener homes. Builders are incorporating many energy and space efficient amenities into their new designs. Where open floor plan have been the norm for condos for the past decade in Florida, these designs have now crossed over to smaller single family homes. Open kitchens and great rooms are preferred by most buyer who are looking to buy smaller homes. This design makes smaller spaces look larger and works best when entertaining. Other important features are a main floor master bedroom and larger bathroom. Ample closet space is paramount and an attached car garages is usually on the list.
Due to mostly sunny and pleasant weather all year round, outdoor living is a big part of the Florida life style. Florida residents have enjoyed this life style by incorporating outdoor amenities such as open patios and summer kitchens to larger homes. These amenities are now becoming very popular for smaller homes as well.