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“It’s not dead, it’s just different.” South Florida resi slowdown persists

South Florida home sales continued to fall and prices kept rising in the third quarter compared with last year’s record hot market, according to a new report.
“Yes, there’s been a slowdown in sales by about a third, but inventory is roughly half the levels of pre-pandemic,” said Jonathan Miller of Miller Samuel, who authors the Douglas Elliman reports. “The excess supply was obliterated during the pandemic.”

Miller pointed to the supply of homes on the market in Delray Beach. Inventory of single-family homes rose 58 percent in the third quarter to 307 listings, compared with 194 a year earlier. But compared with the third quarter of 2019, inventory is down 47 percent.

Even with rising mortgage rates, slowing price growth and fewer sales (compared with the “rocketship” that was the 2021 housing market), Miller said this cycle is unlike others.

“This wasn’t built on speculation. This is born out of work from home, which has been a key driver of it,” he said. “The markets are performing almost uniformly. Supply is historically low and prices continue to rise.”

Prices keep rising, he said, because sellers who aren’t getting a price they’ll accept don’t sell. And those sellers are also less likely to sell if they would then have to buy another home at today’s rates, which are likely much higher than their current mortgage rate.

“Part of the stickiness is caused by the connectivity with a favorable mortgage rate they obtained through a refi or a prior purchase,” he said.

The housing market, he said, is not “dead” but “different.”

Miami coastal mainland

Closings decreased 33 percent, year-over-year, to 3,889 in the coastal areas of mainland Miami-Dade, which include Greater Downtown Miami, Coconut Grove, Palmetto Bay and other neighborhoods.

Single-family home sales dropped 27 percent to 1,677 closings. Supply rose to 4 months. The median sale price was $605,000, up 9 percent.

Condo sales fell 36 percent to 2,212, with months of supply increasing to 4.1 months. The median price rose 20 percent to $408,000.

Miami Beach and the barrier islands

Residential sales fell 39.5 percent to 1,034 closings on the barrier islands of Miami Beach, Bal Harbour, Bay Harbor Islands, Fisher Island, Golden Beach, Indian Creek, Key Biscayne, North Bay Village, Sunny Isles Beach and Surfside in the third quarter.

Single-family home sales dropped 54.5 percent to 92 closings. Months of supply jumped to 10 months. The median sale price for single-family homes rose 18 percent to about $2.8 million.

Miami Beach condo sales declined 37.5 percent to just over 942 closings, with 7.2 months of supply. The median sale price for condos fell slightly, by half a percent, to $516,000.

Fort Lauderdale

Single-family home sales in Fort Lauderdale fell 29 percent to 434 closings. The median price decreased by half a percent to $542,500. Months of supply rose to 4.3 months.

Condo sales totaled 568, down 28 percent. Supply reached 2.4 months, up from the same period last year. The median price rose 29 percent to $482,500.

West Palm Beach

In West Palm Beach, 358 single-family homes traded in the third quarter, a 36 percent annual decline. Still, 4.5 months of supply were left. The median price for single-family homes in West Palm was $461,000, up 15 percent.

Condo sales decreased 31 percent to 596 closings. Months of supply rose to 2.4 months. The median condo price jumped 22 percent to $219,000.

Palm Beach

Single-family home sales fell 59 percent in the town of Palm Beach to nine closings. Nearly a year of supply was left at the end of the third quarter, more than double that of the same period of last year. The median price actually fell 4 percent to $8.4 million.

Condo sales decreased 43.5 percent to 48 closings, with an increase to about 7 months of supply available. The median price for condos jumped 133 percent to $1.6 million.



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Is that a new cargo home on the block?

Is that a new cargo home on the block?
South Florida man building house from eight shipping containers

o casual observers, the stacked red, blue and white containers might look like giant Lego pieces plopped onto a vacant lot.

But these former shipping containers are being recycled into a sleek 3,000-square-foot home in Davie.

Architect Asghar Fathi is constructing the three-story house for his family on a lot that he owns.

“It’s recycling basically,’’ he said of the cargo containers that he bought for $2,500 each at an Opa-locka container yard. “I want to make an example of it. It’s my own home. I am going to live in it.”

His boxy home in the 4600 block of SW 55th Ave. is part of a recent wave of people using former ocean cargo holders to build houses, duplexes and offices in South Florida.

One two-story white cargo home in Jupiter is offered to the public as an Airbnb rental.

Fathi started construction on his home about 2½ months ago.

“This is sustainable, economical and easy to put together if you have the right crew,’’ said Fathi, as his welder and a crew member worked on the container home. “It will be hurricane- and termite-proof” he said, adding that he plans to install impact windows throughout.

“With the windows and stucco, you won’t be able to tell there was a container here,’’ he said, standing inside what will be first-floor bedroom, which will go to his 25-year-old son.

When done in about two to three months, the house will have three bedrooms, a living room, kitchen, dining area, a studio, a two-car carport and an open-air deck.

“I think it’s a neat idea so I am hoping that people can catch on to it,’’ said Fathi, whose firm Fathi Architects has designed residential and commercial properties including a Davie pet express hospital, a Florida City hotel and a Bradenton churchBut “this is my first cargo home,” Fathi said.

He said he’s inspired by famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright’s Usonian philosophy of making small homes accessible for every person.

“He tried to standardize materials so everyone can do it. I am basically following his footsteps with a different material so people can have a home without spending millions and millions of dollars. With one third, you can have a home and be proud of it,” said Fathi, who estimates that the project will cost about $250,000 by the time he’s done.

“This is my passion, this is my excitement,’’ he said. “This is my challenge basically because every day I am learning something new here.”

See The full story here

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Downtown Miami Has Nearly Six-Year Backlog of New Luxury Condos Amid Housing Crisis

Earlier this year, real-estate analyst Peter Zalewski warned that South Florida developers had so overbuilt luxury condos for the global 1 percent that it would take an estimated four years to sell them all. At the rate condos were selling in downtown Miami, he found, the 505 available units would have taken nearly 6.5 years (78 months) to sell during the slower, winter buying season. In the meantime, low- and middle-income Miamians are suffering from a dire lack of basic affordable homes.

Well, the state of affairs in what Zalewski dubs “greater downtown Miami” has grown only worse.

Now, according to a new report Zalewski’s issued this week, even more luxury units are available downtown. For sale are 559 “preconstruction” units at an average price of $2.13 million. Even at the peak of the Miami summer real-estate “buying season,” Zalewski warns, those 559 units could take 70 months — or 5.8 years — to sell. The Real Deal South Florida first reported about his study Wednesday.

“It is worth noting this report only tracks those Greater Downtown Miami condos formally listed for sale. The report does not factor in the nearly 47,500 new condo units currently in the development pipeline east of Interstate 95 in the tricounty South Florida region,” Zalewski’s study ominously notes.

Though Zalewski’s estimates fluctuate from season to season, the overall trend is clear: Miami’s real-estate development community and public officials have approved a truly absurd number of new luxury condo projects pitched at global investors rather than actual Miami residents.

Naturally, it’s pretty impossible to pump that much supply into a city’s real-estate ecosystem without prices collapsing — and Zalewski says elsewhere on his website that the condo market is “slumping” and undergoing a “correction.” Importantly, the housing market overall does not seem to be slumping.

As New Times wrote last time Zalewski released a similar dataset, the information shows that Miami’s real-estate market simply is not designed to benefit working residents. Given the high price of land in Miami-Dade County, it’s more profitable for developers to target global investors and rich vacationers who want to either stash and/or launder money in the United States or purchase a third, fourth, or fifth vacation home they can leave empty 49 weeks of the year.

In the meantime, studies on working-class housing affordability in Miami remain as grim as ever. Restaurant workers can’t afford 99 percent of Miami-area housing. Miamians need to earn $50,000 to afford two-bedroom apartments. And waiting lists for affordable-housing units are often years long and include thousands of applicants.

See The full story here

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French magazine editor buys Miami Beach mansion for $12M

Jean Pierre Cohen, the editor-in-chief of French luxury real estate magazine Residence Immobilier, paid $11.69 million for a waterfront mansion in Miami Beach.

One Sotheby’s International Realty represented both side in the sale of the 7,961-square-foot home at 1374 S. Venetian Way, on San Marco Island. Roy Benmeir and Rachel Benmeir worked with the buyer, and Allan Kleer and Fabian Garcia-Diazlisted the property. The seller was the Gerald H. Goldfarb Family Loan Term Trust.

The price equated to $1,468 a square foot.

It last traded for $6.4 million in 2013.

The home was built on the 10,500-square-foot site in 2006, but was renovated in 2015 by architects Choeff, Levy and Fishman. It has seven bedrooms, 8.5 bathrooms, a theater, rooftop pool with a glass wall and underwater speakers, a dock, a hammam, a sauna and a 12-person Jacuzzi.


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Atlanta developer opens new 19-story apartment building in Coral Gables

Atlanta-based Gables Residential opened its newly built 19-story apartment building in Coral Gables with monthly rents starting at $2,306.

The 200-unit building at 60 Minorca Avenue, called Gables Columbus Center, has apartments ranging in size from 770 to more than 1,500 square feet.

Gables Residential, a real estate investment trust, built common-area amenities that include a mid-level swimming pool and deck with views of Miami.

Tenants also will share an outdoor fireplace area for lounging or hosting guests, plus a 24-hour automated package room and electric vehicle charging stations.

Penthouse residents will have access to a rooftop lounge with hotel-style perks.

Gables Residential got a $56 million loan in early 2017 to finance construction of Gables Columbus Center.

Architecture firm Behar Font & Partners designed the apartment building, and the development’s interior designer was CallisonRTKL.

The Atlanta-based developer is familiar with Coral Gables: In 2013, Gables Residential opened a 248-unit apartment building there, called Gables-Ponce, with a 24,000-square-foot Epicure Market grocery store. – Mike Seemuth

See The full story here



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Miami Foreclosures Up 29 Percent From July 2017 to 2018, Report SaysMiami River

By nearly every metric, Miami’s housing and rental markets are Kafkaesque nightmares. Few people can afford their homes here because they are expensive, while median incomes are embarrassingly low. It’s a dangerous predicament — one natural disaster could throw tons of cash-strapped homeowners spiraling into bankruptcy.

Well, according to a new report from Attom Data Solutions, the Magic City is now dealing with the fallout from one of those disasters: Foreclosures in Miami spiked 29 percent from July 2017 to July 2018, and Hurricane Irma is partly to blame.

For the first time in three years, home foreclosures actually rose year-over-year across America during the past 12 months. According to a new report released today, Miami is, ahem, not one of the few U.S. cities that have fared well over the past year — the city saw 1,119 new foreclosures in the past month alone. Though some of that spike can be attributed to damage from Hurricane Irma in September 2017, Attom’s analysts warn the foreclosure spike could be a sign of greater trouble on the horizon.

See The full story here


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St. Thomas University looks to sell 28 acres in north Miami-Dade


St. Thomas University in Miami Gardens has placed 28 acres of vacant land up for sale in north Miami-Dade County as the school seeks to buttress its finances for future initiatives.

The location along the Palmetto Expressway would be open for multiple uses including office, industrial, retail or residential, according to the Avison Young real estate services firm, which has been retained to market the property.

Founded in 1961 as Biscayne College by the order of Augustinian Friars, the private Catholic university would use the funds to strengthen its endowment and finance strategic projects, according to President David A. Armstrong.

The school achieved university status in 1984, operates one of only two accredited Catholic law schools south of Washington, D.C., and offers multiple degrees at the bachelor and master level. It has an undergraduate enrollment of 4,280, and its current campus size is 140 acres, according to the latest U.S. News & World Report survey of colleges and universities.

“We are excited about the complementary opportunities the land’s potential uses will present for the school and the community,” Armstrong said in a statement.

He characterized the land as “excess” and said the sale “will have no impact on our university’s long-term plans.”

“It is underutilized land,” said Michael T. Fay, Miami managing director of Avison Young. “This will really be for the benefit of the endowment and the progression of the school for many years to come.”

Fay said the university is seeking a buyer or buyers who would commit to “thoughtful development,” whether it’s for student housing, retail, office, industrial or mixed-use projects.

“We believe there’s going be significant interest,” he said.

Any purchase would be subject to the approval of the St. Thomas board of trustees and Archbishop Thomas Wenski, who leads the Archdiocese of Miami.


See The full story here

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Veteran bank executive sells Key Biscayne home for $11M

Veteran banking executive Mark Rufeh sold a waterfront home in Key Biscayne for $11.1 million, or $4,334 per square foot.

The 2,561-square-foot home at 398 Harbor Drive was sold to 398 Harbor Corp., a Delaware-registered company, so it’s not clear who owns it, but Feldman Law in Kendall represents it. The seller was Sunset Bay Realty, managed by Rufeh out of Holmdel.

The property last traded for $8.45 million.

The home was built on the 20,933-square-foot lot along Biscayne Bay in 1952. Given that is has only three bedrooms and three bathrooms with no pool, the home is a potential teardown candidate in order to build a larger home.

Key Biscayne is one of the most expensive ZIP codes in Florida because the island is land-constrained and in a prime location.

Rufe was previously managing director and co-head of global operations and technology at Citigroup and chief administrative office for investment banking at Credit Suisse Group.