Category: Industry News

The Week in Luxury: A Map of Miami-Dade’s Priciest Condo Sales (Week of Nov 2)

Mark Chatburn

Sales held steady for Miami-Dade County’s overall condo market during the second week of November, though the luxury sector continued to drag its feet — with one standout closing.

Only three condos sales last week were above $1 million, two of which posted prices above $2 million. The week’s top sale blew past all of Miami-Dade’s other closings: Unit 40 at the Regalia tower in Sunny Isles Beach was sold for $9.7 million, which breaks down to $1,758 per square foot. The 40th-floor residence boasts 360-degree views of the ocean and Sunny Isles, and along with the usual luxury accouterments like modern appliances and imported stone finishes, it comes with a 2,100-square-foot wraparound terrace with its own summer kitchen. Anna Sherrill of One Sotheby’s International Realty had the listing, which closed after 271 days.

After that monster closing, the week’s next-most expensive sale was unit 1103 at the Grand Bay Tower in Key Biscayne. It sold for $3.5 million, or $1,005 per square foot, after spending only 50 days on the market with Lilia Gambogi of AG Real Estate Advisors. Some of the corner unit’s features include marble and carpet floors, custom-built mirrors and floor-to-ceiling glass windows in the living room.

The week’s final sale above $1 million belonged to Juan Carlos Gonzalez of Keller Williams. His listing for unit 518 at the Belle Plaza condo complex in Miami Beach’s Belle Isle sold for $1.1 million after 186 days on the market. The closing breaks down to $717 per square foot. The unit, originally built in 1962, was recently renovated with white limestone floors and a modernized kitchen.

Miami-Dade had 127 condo closings last week for a total of $49.44 million. Compared to the previous week, the total dollar amount is up by roughly $6 million despite 11 fewer units selling. That can be explained by a significant increase in average prices: up to $389,324, from $323,734 the previous week, and to $279 per square foot, up slightly from $278.

Here’s a breakdown of the data for the week of November 8 to November 14.

Click on the map for more information:

Most expensive
Regalia, Sunny Isles Beach | $9.7M | $1.758 psf | 271 days on market | Anna Sherrill of ONE Sotheby’s International Realty

Least expensive
Brickell Place, Brickell | $730,000 | $342 psf | 147 days on market | Jose Luis Pere of One Sotheby’s International Realty

Most days on market
Sundance Condo, South Beach | 287 days on market | $760,000 | $551 psf | Marla Rivas of Esslinger Wooten Maxwell

Least days on market Grand Bay Tower, Key Biscayne | 50 days on market | $3.5M | $1,005 psf | Lilia Gambogi of Fortune International Realty – See more

Source: The Real Deal

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Colombia beats our Brazil for interest in Miami

Mark Chatburn

For the first time in more than a year, Brazil has been dethroned as the country most frequently searching for properties in Miami.

The ranking comes from the Miami Association of Realtors, which produces a list every month of the top 10 foreign countries using its website to look for local real estate.

During July, Colombia racked up more searches for Miami properties than any other country in the world. The country has lagged behind in the No. 2. spot for the past few months, while its neighbor Brazil spent the last 13 months as the top country interested in Miami.

“Colombian home buyers have a long history of purchasing South Florida real estate, so the fact Colombia has overtaken Brazil for the most web property searches is not a surprise,” Christopher Zoller, the association’s 2015 residential president of Miami, wrote in a release. “Colombians are so comfortable here in Miami. Our tremendous diversity, world-class shopping, and global business center not only attract Colombian buyers, but all consumers – international and domestic.”

Typically, Colombians moving to Miami are upper-middle-class families that pay an average of $420,000 per property — the third highest price paid by foreigners in all South Florida. Last year, residents of the country accounted for 8 percent of all property transactions in the tri-county region, according to the Miami Association of Realtors.

Other countries growing hungry for Miami real estate include Venezuela and France, which have risen to the third and fourth spots, respectively. Though no longer the king of property searches, Brazil ranked second.

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Home Price Sales go up in South Florida

Mark Chatburn

After a record-setting month in June, South Florida home prices and sales both went up in July.

Existing single-family home sales in Miami-Dade County hit 1,354 in July, up 10.2 percent year-over-year and just shy of June’s record-breaking haul of 1,390, according to a report from the Miami Association of Realtors released Thursday.

Existing condo sales rose to 1,471 in July, up 4.8 percent year-over-year despite the deluge of new condo construction hitting the market.

Broward County also made gains.

There were 1,683 single-family home sales in Broward in July, up 11 percent year-over-year, according to the Greater Fort Lauderdale Association of Realtors. Condo sales hit 1,567, a 10 percent year-over-year gain.

Prices went up in both counties, too.

In Miami-Dade, the median price for a single-family home rose 8.6 percent year-over-year in July, to $278,000. Condos were up 2.6 percent, to $195,000.

In Broward, single-family home prices hit $312,000, a 9.5 percent year-over-year increase. Condos sold for $137,000, up 7 percent.

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Property Appraiser Website Wins Award

Mark Chatburn

A website for searching property records operated by the Miami-Dade County Office of the Property Appraiser has won a national award.

The site allows users to search county property records online and works on desktop, tablet and mobile devices. It is the most-used page on the county’s site, according to property appraiser Pedro Garcia.

“We took the public’s input and used it to bring more accessibility and innovation to the website,” Garcia said in a statement. Programmers at the county’s Community Information and Outreach department developed the site.

The website was a winner of the 20th annual Web & Digital Government Achievement Awards. The awards are given out annually by the Center for Digital Government, which describes itself on its website as “a national research and advisory institute on information technology policies and best practices in state and local government.”

Miami-Dade was one of five winners from around the country in a category for local government initiatives that provide information to citizens.

The property records site is available to search at

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Spanish Billionaire Buys Stretch of Lincoln Road

Mark Chatburn

A company linked to Spanish billionaire and fashion mogul Amancio Ortega paid $370 million for an entire block of Lincoln Road this week, the second largest real-estate deal in Miami-Dade County history.

The prime stretch of South Beach retail property includes the new Apple store, the Gap, Intermix, Athleta and a forthcoming Nike location.

The sellers were South Florida real estate investors and developers Jonathan Fryd and Michael Comras, who assembled the properties between 1001 Lincoln Rd. and 1035 Lincoln Rd. for about $12 million in 1999 and 2000.

“We’ve invested in these properties for 16 years, and I believe Lincoln Road has come a long way and is in excellent shape,” Fryd said. “We’ve created a tremendous amount of value and now is a perfect time to sell for us.”

The deal includes about 48,000 square feet of land and — once the new Nike is finished — about 75,000 square feet of buildings, Fryd said. That’s a price tag of about $7,700 per square foot of land.

Lincoln Road’s heady rents, now above $300 per square foot, justify the massive deal, Comras said.

“It’s become one of the top retail streets in the world by virtue of the fact that it’s on the beach and attracts people from all over the world,” Comras said.

Commercial real-estate firm HFF brokered the sale.

Lincoln Road has seen a flurry of activity as out-of-town buyers hoover up properties. Earlier this summer, New York investor David Edelstein paid about $6,500 per square foot for two buildings at 918 and 920 Lincoln Road.

Ortega, who owns global fashion giant Zara, has a net worth of $67.7 billion, according to Forbes. He recently opened a Zara location on Lincoln Road and partnered with Ugo Colombo in 2009 to develop the Epic Residences & Hotel downtown.

The company that paid $370 million for the Lincoln Road block is listed on county property records as Playa Retail Investments. Playa shares an office at the Epic with Ponte Gadea Miami, the local branch of Ortega’s real-estate investment firm.

Ortega hasn’t confirmed the deal or discussed his plans for the site but it seems unlikely he would change the profitable mix of national retailers already in place.

The sale sets a record for Lincoln Road, surpassing a $342 million deal for six properties that closed last year. The biggest commercial transaction in Miami-Dade history remains the $375 million sale of 50 percent of the Fontainebleau Miami Beach hotel to a company owned by the government of Dubai in 2008.

The size of the deal reflects a hot retail market in Miami, said Justin Greider, vice president for Florida retail at the commercial real-estate firm JLL, which was not involved in the sale.

“Retailers are driving hard to get into Miami,” Greider said, in part because South Florida has a large population of millennials, a steady stream of foreign investment and visitors from all over the world.

Given the strength of the local market, Greider added that JLL isn’t worried about “bubble pricing.”

“It’s very competitive but we don’t see these prices as being overpaying right now,” he said.

Steven Gombinski, president of the Lincoln Road Property Association, said Ortega’s purchase was also a sign that investors are excited about plans by the city of Miami Beach to give the street a major makeover with wider sidewalks, public art, new fountains and other renovations.

The redesign is being led by architect James Corner, best known for his work on the High Line in New York City. Early drafts of the plan drew criticism from some preservationists concerned that the neighborhood is being developed more for tourists than locals.

But Gombinski said the work will create a “more friendly environment” for locals.

“It’s going to open up Lincoln Road,” he said, “and make it much more accessible and attractive for people who live here.”

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How Real Estate Agents use LinkedIn

Mark Chatburn

Imagine if your ideal customer only spent money with you once or twice every few decades.

That’s the reality many real estate agents face every day, making ongoing, reliable lead generation a necessity.

And while traditional (and I’d argue, outdated and overpriced) methods like bus stop signs, billboards and printed ads provide diminishing returns, I’m seeing more and more real estate agents turning to social networks like LinkedIn in search of fresh leads.

In fact, it seems like I’m getting more and more messages each week from real estate agents wondering if LinkedIn can be a viable place to find fresh leads, so I decided to write this post as a “once-and-for-all” answer I can share.

Can LinkedIn work for a real estate agent?

The short answer is, “Yes!”

The long answer is what I’m going to spend the rest of this post on.

Step 1: Use LinkedIn’s powerful data to build a localized network of potential clients and referral sources.

With nearly 400 million members worldwide, and with two new professionals joining every second, LinkedIn is one of the largest and fastest-growing social media platforms on the planet. Its members are professional, affluent and well-read.

Using my favorite strategy to locate and engage your ideal clients or prospects is a must for agents on LinkedIn. You’ll want to search and sort inside of LinkedIn’s millions of professional groups by location to ensure you’re finding and connecting with people in the part of town in which you want to sell properties.

Step 2: Have a strategy and a solid “ask” in place.

I’ve talked before about the concepts of crafting irresistible LinkedIn invites and creating your own personal fishing pond on LinkedIn, and both elements are critical for a real estate agent (or anyone else) who wants to earn people’s time and attention on LinkedIn.

Bottom line: You must use personalized invitations, and you must have something of value or benefit to the person you are inviting to connect.

Just saying “I’d like to connect” is not enough. Tell me why we should connect — what’s in it for me?

Step 3: Become a media company.

Timing is everything for a real estate agent. You need to be in front of people all the time. But sticking your face on a billboard or bus-stop shelter is not the best or most cost-effective way to do this.

Instead, why not be visible and build trust, likability and authority at the same time?

The way you do this is by becoming a media company — creating and sharing content that makes you likable, demonstrates your knowledge, and provides value to your target audience.

Here’s an example. I live in a suburb of St. Paul, Minnesota. If I’m getting ready to move somewhere within the Twin Cities, I want to know the best schools for my kids to attend. I want to know what property taxes are in the areas where I’m looking. I want to know about new residential construction projects, because I’m inept at home repair and want something new. I want to find out which neighborhoods or cities have the best parks and trails for outdoor adventures with the family. I’m curious about what type of shopping or restaurants or entertainment options are in each location, too.

If you’re a real estate agent working in a specific part of the Twin Cities, you should already know these things. So share them!

Create (and publish right on LinkedIn) blog posts, videos or photos sharing this type of information. Link to news stories, studies and surveys about the areas in which you sell homes.

This is not rocket science — it’s about becoming useful to me as a potential client or referral source. It’s also about me getting to know, like and trust you by seeing your face all the time on LinkedIn and associating it with helpful, friendly and relevant information.

Content creation secrets

Also, there are simple ways to create content even if you’re not a writer or creative type. For example, you can record yourself talking or explaining a situation or service type you would to a home buyer, and then send the audio file to a site like SpeechPadto get it professionally transcribed for $1.00 per minute.

Send over the audio file, and get back a polished Microsoft Word document with a ready-made blog post written in a conversational tone.

Use a tool like Headlinr or other resources to craft a killer headline for your post.

Snap photos on your iPhone of the areas you serve, and share them every single day on LinkedIn to remind people in those areas that you’re around, you’re seeing what they’re seeing, etc.

Make fun, animated videos that highlight the services you provide and showcase testimonials from happy home buyers.

I could go on, but you get the idea!

Step 4: Connect with HR professionals and others who can refer business to you.

I’m talking about home builders, construction companies, HR professionals who have to help new employees find housing, relocation services professionals — they’re all on LinkedIn. ( Here’s the easiest way to find them all in one place.)

Connect with these folks and begin building relationships!

Step 5: Start a professional group.

Along with sharing your content via the LinkedIn news feed and blogging platform, it makes great sense to create your own LinkedIn group to which you can invite people. (This is also a great “ask” to have when you first connect with new prospects.) It follows my “fishing pond” strategy of stocking your group with all the best prospects or potential referral partners you come across on LinkedIn every day.

Bottom line

LinkedIn is an untapped goldmine for real estate agents or anyone else looking to generate more leads. The key is having a strategy and plan in place before you go out and begin using the network.

You’ll want to make sure you automate as much of the process as possible, including the ability to track all the invitations, connects and interactions you create on LinkedIn day after day.

John Nemo, Contributing Writer
South Florida Business Journal

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Monterra apartments sold for $56M to Morguard

Mark Chatburn

Morguard Corp. acquired the apartment community in Cooper City’s Monterra neighborhood for $55.7 million.

Jag-Star Monterra, part of McLean, Virginia-based Jefferson Apartment Group, sold the 252 apartments at 8101 to 8191 Solano Ave. to Morguard Monterra, an affiliate of the Kenner, Louisiana-based apartment investor.

The 281,510-square-foot garden-style complex was built on the 11.4-acre site in 2013. Amenities include a clubhouse, pool, summer kitchen, conference room, fitness center, and walking trails.

The price equates to $221,032 per unit.

Monterra also includes single-family homes and hundreds of them are still under development.

This is Morguard’s 10th apartment property in Florida, including Blue Isle in Coconut Creek.

Brian Bandell, Senior Reporter, South Florida Business Journal

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Mary Brickell Village Sells for $113.5 Million

Mark Chatburn

Quebec-based Ivanhoe Cambridge has sold Mary Brickell Village for $113.5 million according to a deed filed in Miami-Dade County records on Thursday. Dallas, Texas-based Rockpoint Group is the buyer.  Ivanhoe Cambridge affiliate Brickell Main Street LLLP sold the mall to MB Village Owner LLC, a company tied to Rockpoint Group, a real estate private equity group. The affiliate also closed on a $62.25 million mortgage from ONC Bank National Association, records show. Rockpoint general counsel Ron Hoyl signed the loan. Mary Brickell Village, a 195,188-square-foot shopping center in Miami’s Brickell area, was completed in 2007. It includes 59 stores and 800 parking spaces, according to Ivanhoe’s website. Tenants of the shopping center include the Oceanaire Seafood Room, Rosa Mexicano, Fado Irish Bar, Blo Blow Dry Bar, L.A. Fitness and Publix. The sale does not include the residential condos at Nine at Mary Brickell Village, which share the same site, at 911 Southwest First Avenue, 900 South Miami Avenue and 901 South Miami Avenue, which is across the street. Rockpoint, which has hotels in Key West and the site of the Seashore condo tower in Sunny Isles Beach, already has a presence in the area with Brickell Heights. Rockpoint affiliates recently closed on a $160.5 million construction loan for its two condominium towers. Also nearby is Brickell City Centre, the $1.05 billion mixed-use development north of Mary Brickell Village. When completed, it will include a 500,000-square-foot shopping component, two condominium towers, two Class A office buildings, and its EAST, Miami Hotel. The condominium, office, and hotel components at Brickell City Centre are set to open at the end of this year.

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