We believe that knowledge is power and we want you to have more of it. The best realtors can engage their customers in conversation on a wide-range of topics, from business trends and shifting political landscapes to the latest happenings in the world of sports, art, and pop-culture. We've summarized the most significant incidents from these sectors so that you don't have to. Business Market Snapshot (January 16th-19th) Powered by MarketSnacks Dow Jones: 26,072 (+1.05%) S&P 500: 2,810 (+0.88%) Nasdaq: 7,336 (+1.05%) Market Winners: Last Wednesday, Apple announced it would add $350 billion in value to the United States' economy over the next five years by bringing back home $252 billion in foreign profits. This is all thanks to the new tax rate. Papa John’s CFO announced he will leave the pizza chain to join Jack-in-the-Box also this past Wednesday. Despite Lance F. Tucker’s departure shares rose 8%. Papa John’s stock plummeted 34% in 2017 due to slowed sales growth Mall staple Abercrombie Fitch’s stock rose after announcing their gender-neutral kid's line. The "Everybody Collection" will include 25 styles of camo, bright and pink shirts and jackets in standard sized for kids ages 5-14. Abercrombie is not the first to do so, H&M launched unisex denim last year, and Target dropped all gender references on its kid's section in 2015. Market Losers: General Electric’s stock has already plummeted down 45% in the last year. If that wasn't enough, they silently revealed a $6.5 billion liability it owes on the long-term insurance business it exited over ten years ago. Cryptocurrency holders felt a sting as they watched Bitcoin almost half in price at one point to below $10K last week. Bitcoin was not the only cryptocurrency affected Litecoin, Ripple and Ethereum also suffered double-digit losses. The Bitcoin Bubble has not popped, governments are just flexing their muscles and reminding us that they like to regulate things, like money. Other Market News: Overnight Sunday, the MSCI Asia Pacific Index rose 0.2 percent, while Japan’s Topix index closed 0.1 percent higher as the yen slipped towards the end of the session. In Europe, the Stoxx 600 Index was unchanged at 5:40 a.m. S&P 500 futures were 0.2 percent lower, the 10-year Treasury yield was at 2.650 percent, and gold was slightly higher. Real Estate Local: Amazon, the world's largest online shopping retailer is opening their second HQ in the States. Last Thursday they announced on Twitter that our very own Miami has advanced to the next step in their HQ2 decision process. Amazon started with 238 possible cities and is now down to a shortlist of 20. Yotel, a British chain of airport and city hotels well known for its small, cozy, affordable rooms outfitted with high-tech, luxury features are jumping into the condo-hotel game by introducing one of its hybrids, YotelPad, here in Miami. The 30-story tower will be located at 227 NE Second St. and will offer 250 Yotel-branded hotel rooms and 208 condos. The project is helmed by Aria Development Group, and the Kuwait-based AQARAT real estate company prices start at $250,000. Politics North America: The three-day government shutdown ended Monday after President Trump signed the stop-gap spending bill, extending government funding until February 8. The government shutdown because Senate Democrats and Republicans failed to reach an agreement on how to continue funding our burdensome government, Democrats did not want to vote to reopen the government unless they received a commitment from Republicans stating that they’d get a chance to vote on immigration legislation and help the "dreamers." According to a POLITICO analysis of court documents, government letters, public testimony and reports from the media reveals that the investigation into the 2016 election now may involve hundreds of individuals in Washington, Moscow and around the globe. To check out the interactive analysis click here. Sports North America: National Basketball Association (NBA): The Miami Heat defeated the Charlotte Hornets 106-105, in the final seconds of Saturday night's game. It was a tied game at 105 to 105, when Hornets Center Dwight Howard fouled heat Center Kelly Olynek with less than a second left in the game. Kelly Olynek made one of his two crucial free throws to help the Heat overcome the Hornets. The Heat are currently one game behind Lebron James’ Cleveland Cavaliers for the 3rd Spot in the Eastern Conference. Nation Football League (NFL): This past Sunday was the AFC and NFC Championship games, deciding who will face each other in Super Bowl LII Sunday, February 4, 2018. In the AFC Championship game, Tom Brady and the New England Patriots came back late in the fourth quarter to beat the Jacksonville Jaguars 24-20, this will be Tom Brady’s eighth Super Bowl appearance. Philadelphia displayed that they’re ready for a Super Bowl appearance beating the Minnesota Vikings 38-7 in the NFC Championship game. Entertainment James Franco's name wasn't called when Oscar nominations were announced today, Tuesday, amid inappropriate sexual behavior accusations against the young actor. Franco was looking to receive a nomination for his performance in The Disaster Artist. The Academy has also decided to deviate from its usual picks for this upcoming 90th Oscars as it praised Guillermo del 'Toro's out of the ordinary film, The Shape of Water with 13 nominations. The film follows a mute, isolated woman who works as a cleaning lady in a hidden, high-security government laboratory in 1962 Baltimore. Her life changes forever when she discovers the lab's classified secret. Quote of the Week All the opinions expressed by Juan Artiles in this newsletter are solely his opinions. You should not treat any opinion expressed by his as a specific inducement to make a particular investment or follow a particular strategy, but only as an expression of his opinions.
Mid-market Miami home sales and median prices for all properties rose in November, according to a new report by the MIAMI Association of REALTORS® (MIAMI) and the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) system. Mid-market home transactions — properties sold for $250,000 to $600,000 — jumped 16.4 percent for Miami existing condominiums and 4.9 percent for single-family homes in November. Mid-market home sales comprise 61 percent of total single-family home sales and 33 percent of total condo sales. “Low inventory and high demand is fueling a surge in Miami home sales in the $250,000 to $600,000 range,” said Christopher Zoller, the 2017 MIAMI chairman of the board. “America’s youngest major city, Miami is home to a growing population and rising wages; two factors consistent with real estate growth.” Total Miami Home Sales Decrease in November Total existing Miami-Dade County residential sales — which posted a record year in 2013 and near record years in 2014 and 2015 — decreased 4.3 percent year-over-year from 1,997 to 1,912. Single-family home sales decreased 7.6 percent, from 1,025 to 947. Miami existing condo sales — which are competing with one of the most robust new construction markets in the country — decreased 0.7 percent year-over-year, from 972 to 965. Lack of access to mortgage loans continues to inhibit further growth of the existing condominium market. Of the 9,307 condominium buildings in Miami-Dade and Broward counties, only 12 are approved for Federal Housing Administration loans, down from 29 last year, according to Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation and FHA. Total sales volume for all properties accounted for $793.6 million last month. These sales do not include Miami’s multi-billion dollar new construction condo market. Six Years of Price Appreciation in Miami Miami-Dade County single-family home prices increased 6.5 percent in November 2017, increasing from $310,000 to $330,000. Miami single-family home prices have risen for 72 consecutive months, a streak spanning six years. Existing condo prices rose 5.9 percent, from $217,250 to $230,000 in November. Condo prices have increased in 75 of the last 78 months. Miami real estate remains a bargain. A 120-square meter condominium in Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Miami Beach cost $170,000 in 2016 Q3, according to the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR). The average cost of a 120-square meter apartment in 2016 in the prime inner city areas of London ($4.1 million), Hong Kong ($3.1 million), and New York ($2.2 million) were at least ten times higher, according to Global Property Guide. According to Freddie Mac, the average commitment rate for a 30-year, conventional, fixed-rate mortgage increased for the second straight month to 3.92 percent in November from 3.90 percent in October. The average commitment rate for all of 2016 was 3.65 percent. Miami Distressed Sales Continue to Drop Only 9.4 percent of all closed residential sales in Miami were distressed last month, including REO (bank-owned properties) and short sales, compared to 14.8 percent in November 2016. In 2009, distressed sales comprised 70 percent of Miami sales. Total Miami distressed sales declined 38.9 percent year-over-year, from 296 to 181 last month. Short sales and REOs accounted for 2.6 and 6.9 percent, respectively, of total Miami sales in November 2017. Short sale transactions dropped 35.5 percent year-over-year while REOs fell 40 percent. Nationally, distressed sales accounted for 4 percent of sales, down from 6 percent a year ago. Miami Real Estate Selling Close to List Price The median number of days between listing and contract dates for Miami single-family home sales was 55 days, a 10 percent increase from 50 days last year. The median number of days between the listing date and closing date for single-family properties was 108 days, a 0.9 percent increase from 107 days. The median time to contract for condos rose 14.1 percent to 81 days from 71 days. The median number of days between listing date and closing date increased 2.5 percent to 122 days. The median percent of original list price received for single-family homes was 95.4 percent. The median percent of original list price received for existing condominiums was 93.5 percent. National and State Statistics Nationally, total existing-home sales jumped 5.6 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.81 million in November from an upwardly revised 5.50 million in October. After last month’s increase, sales are 3.8 percent higher than a year ago and are at their strongest pace since December 2006 (6.42 million). Statewide closed sales of existing single-family homes totaled 19,990 last month, up 1.3 percent compared to November 2016, according to Florida Realtors. Statewide closed condo sales totaled 8,235 last month, up 5.8 percent compared to November 2016. The national median existing-home price for all housing types in November was $248,000, up 5.8 percent from November 2016 ($234,400). November’s price increase marks the 69th straight month of year-over-year gains. The statewide median sales price for single-family existing homes last month was $240,000, up 9.1 percent from the previous year, according to Florida Realtors. The statewide median price for townhouse-condo properties in November was $176,000, up 8.6 percent over the year-ago figure. November was the 71st consecutive month that statewide median prices for both sectors rose year-over-year. Miami’s Cash Buyers Represent almost Double the National Figure Miami cash transactions comprised 39.4 percent of November total closed sales, compared to 43.1 percent last year. Miami cash transactions are almost double the national figure (22 percent). Miami’s high percentage of cash sales reflects South Florida’s ability to attract a diverse number of international home buyers, who tend to purchase properties in all cash. Miami has a higher percent of cash sales for condos due to lack of financing approvals for buildings. Condominiums comprise a large portion of Miami’s cash purchases as 54.5 percent of condo closings were made in cash in November compared to 24.0 percent of single-family home sales. Seller’s Market for Single-Family Homes, Supply Declines in November Inventory of single-family homes decreased 6.3 percent in November from 6,605 active listings last year to 6,191 last month. Condominium inventory increased 4.5 percent to 15,477 from 14,810 listings during the same period in 2016. Monthly supply of inventory for single-family homes decreased 3.3 percent to 5.8 months, which indicates a seller’s market. Existing condominiums have a 14.2-month supply, which indicates a buyer’s market. A balanced market between buyers and sellers offers between six and nine months supply of inventory. Total active listings at the end of November increased 1.2 percent year-over-year, from 21,415 to 21,668. Active listings remain about 60 percent below 2008 levels when sales bottomed. New listings of Miami single-family homes increased 1.6 percent to 1,584 from 1,559. New listings of condominiums increased 3.3 percent, from 2,217 to 2,290. Nationally, total housing inventory at the end of November dropped 7.2 percent to 1.67 million existing homes available for sale, and is now 9.7 percent lower than a year ago (1.85 million) and has fallen year-over-year for 30 consecutive months. Unsold inventory is at a 3.4-month supply at the current sales pace, which is down from 4.0 months a year ago. Note: Statistics in this report were provided by the MIAMI Association of REALTORS®
We believe that knowledge is power and we want you to have more of it. The best realtors can engage their customers in conversation on a wide-range of topics, from business trends and shifting political landscapes to the latest happenings in the world of sports, art, and pop-culture. We've summarized the most important incidents from these sectors so that you don't have to. 1. Business Market Snapshot: Week of Nov. 27th to Dec. 3rd Powered by MarketSnacks Dow Jones: 24,232 (+2.83%) S&P 500: 2,642 (+1.51%) Nasdaq: 6,848 (-1.62%) Market Winners: Snapchat CEO, Evan Spiegel, announced earlier last week that the popular social media application would undergo a significant redesign, eliminating the Story feature. According to Spiegel, his goal is to differentiate the app from other popular social media platforms. Time Inc. was bought out by media giant Meredith for $1.85 billion in a deal partially managed by the Koch brothers. Last Tuesday, Buffalo Wild Wings stock jumped 6% following an official buyout offer announcement by Atlanta-based private equity firm Roark Capital. The deal is expected to close in the first quarter of 2018. Market Losers: Despite trends showing that Americans are reading more this year, Barnes & Nobles reported a $30 million quarterly loss. Sears sales continued to fall another 17% due to lack of repeat business and new customers. Rideshare company Uber reported a $1.6 billion quarterly loss company, due in part to slow growth caused by the rideshare company’s recent hacker mishaps and the rapid growth of its main competitor, Lyft. Other Market News: The Stoxx Europe 600 Index climbed 1.1 percent, the most since July. West Texas Intermediate crude decreased 1.1 percent to $57.73 a barrel. The value of one Bitcoin surpassed $11,000 for the first time, increasing by $3,000 since Thanksgiving alone. Bitcoin has experienced a 900% since the beginning of 2017. CVS Health Group announced it would purchase Aetna Inc. for about $67.5 billion. This merger will significantly restructure the landscape of the U.S health-care sector; the deal is set to close mid-2018. 2. Real Estate Local: Mast Capital is proposing to build a massive mixed-use project on a riverfront site at 1001 Northwest Seventh Street, according to documents filed with the Miami River Commission. Wanting to get in on the action near the Miami River, Mast Capital’s project is planned to have nearly 700 residential units, 800 parking spaces and commercial and retail space on the ground level. Rad Miami River Phase I LLC currently owns the 6.31-acre development site. Trend Watch: Bitcoin is poised to become the biggest emerging trend to impact the global real estate industry in 2018. In spite of its popularity, Bitcoin remains largely a mystery to many within the real estate community. What is Bitcoin? Where did it come from? And perhaps most importantly, how will it impact the real estate industry? Here is a beginner’s guide to Bitcoin for realtors. 3. Politics North America: Senate passed a 51-49 Tax Reform vote early Saturday significantly changing our nation’s federal tax code. Fifty-one senators voted in favor of the "Tax Cuts and Jobs Act." Now, attention is on legislation trying to find common ground between the House and Senate bills, which could be ready "within ten days” according to Republican Senator David Perdue of Georgia. Former national security adviser, Michael T. Flynn, pleaded guilty on Friday to lying to the F.B.I. About conversations with the Russian ambassador last December. Flynn is the first senior White House official to cut a cooperation deal in the special counsel’s wide-ranging inquiry into election interference. South America: According to Reuters, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro announced on Sunday that he’s planning to launch "petro," a digital currency backed by oil, gas, gold and diamond reserves. The development of this new Venezuelan cryptocurrency is an attempt circumvent U.S.-led financial sanctions. Asia: This past Wednesday Nikki Haley, U.S Ambassador of the United Nations, called for a complete shutdown of all ties and affiliations with North Korea by every nation. The exclusion of the secret state is becoming a trend as tempers escalate on the Korean Peninsula. 4. Sports Local: UM’s football team did not end the season strong following a 38-3 loss to Clemson this past Saturday. The loss continues the Miami Hurricanes 13-year absence from the Atlantic Coast Conference Football Championship Game. Despite the loss, the future looks bright for the South Florida college football team. It is almost guaranteed a spot in the 2017 Orange Bowl and Coach Mark Richt has high praise for the program’s incoming class of recruits. The Miami Dolphins were able to get out of their slump and break a 5-game losing streak this weekend by defeating the Denver Broncos 35-9. It is rumored that Coach Adam Gase wanted to make an example out of the Denver due to previous tension with Broncos owner John Elway. It is safe to say he succeeded. North America: The New York Giants benched Super Bowl winner, Eli Manning, this weekend against the Raiders and started QB Geno Smith. This decision hurt the veteran quarterback ending his 210-consecutive regular-season start streak for the Giants 5. Arts & Entertainment Local: Instagram-famous chef Nusret Gökçe, also known as “Salt Bae,” has sprinkled salt into old Cuban wounds by posting a picture impersonating as Fidel Castro. This cannot be good publicity for his new restaurant Nusr-et Turkish Steakhouse, which opened up at 999 Brickell Avenue in Miami’s financial district. This past Wednesday, co-host of NBC's Today, Matt Lauer was fired based on many accusations of sexual misconduct. Lauer’s conduct was not a secret among other employees at Today, according to numerous sources. The Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami (ICA Miami) inaugurated its new building in the heart of the Miami Design District last week. The opening comes just days before the Art Basel Miami Beach kicks-off its 16th installment. Click here for your guide to Art Basel Miami Beach 2017 and the surrounding events of Miami Art Week. 6. Quote of the Week All the opinions expressed by Juan Artiles in this newsletter are solely his opinions. You should not treat any opinion expressed by his as a specific inducement to make a particular investment or follow a particular strategy, but only as an expression of his opinions.
Despite being scorned by most financial analysts for years, Bitcoin has experienced a meteoric rise to prominence in 2017. Earlier this week, Bitcoin’s market capitalization hit $160 billion USD, propelling the cryptocurrency past major corporations, including Nike, Disney, McDonald’s, and IBM in financial worth. As of this writing, Bitcoin’s market cap has surpassed $180 billion USD. Bitcoin is poised to become the biggest – and possibly most exciting – emerging trend to impact the global real estate industry in 2018. In spite of its popularity, Bitcoin and other forms of cryptocurrency, remain largely a mystery to many within the real estate community. While complex, it should not be ignored by the modern realtor. It is only a matter of time before cryptocurrency is integrated into our daily lives and those of our clients. As such, the savvy real estate professional must be aware of its existence, understand how it works, and embrace opportunities that lie ahead. What is Bitcoin? Where did it come from? And perhaps most importantly, how will it impact the real estate industry? This is your beginner’s guide to Bitcoin for realtors. What is Bitcoin? Bitcoin is the original form of cryptocurrency, which is a decentralized digital currency. It can be used as a global exchange to purchase goods and services just like any other physical currency in use today. At present, there are over a thousand unique forms of cryptocurrencies. Bitcoin remains the most popular. Bitcoin was first introduced in 2009 by “Satoshi Nakamoto” in response to the 2008 Financial Crisis and the ensuing widespread accusations against mainstream financial institutions, including the misuse of borrowers’ money, taking advantage of clients, rigging the system, overcharged fees and unfairly increased rates. Nakamoto designed Bitcoin to give individuals more power by creating an online peer-to-peer network for currency exchange in order to eliminate traditional financial institutions from the transaction process. Most importantly, he sought to make transactions more transparent through the introduction of an innovative, new technology known as “Blockchain.” Blockchain: Blockchain is perhaps the most important advancement generated by the introduction of Bitcoin. The Blockchain is a public ledger that contains a digital record of all past Bitcoin transactions on the peer-to-peer network. The information within this ledger is constantly updated through a process called “Bitcoin Mining.” Bitcoin Mining: Bitcoin Mining, as defined by Investopedia, “is the process by which transactions are verified and added to the public ledger, known as the block chain, and also the means through which new bitcoin are released. Anyone with access to the internet and suitable hardware can participate in mining. The mining process involves compiling recent transactions into blocks and trying to solve a computationally difficult puzzle.” The result of each completed process is a digital signature known as “Hash,” which is then stored at the end of the Blockchain. Hash: The Hash is significant because it serves as a digital “receipt” of sorts or Proof of Work, which provides confirmation that each block contained within the Blockchain is legitimate. Any change to even a single character in a Hash would be identified as an illegitimate transaction and rejected by miners on the peer-to-peer network. The process, while complexing, provides an extremely high level of security making Bitcoin permanent, safe and secure. The Evolution of Bitcoin We now live in the birth of Cryptocurrency. Governments and regulatory systems across the globe are still trying to figure out how to adopt this into public policy, creating new laws to govern its use and related activities. Each new regulation serves to further legitimize Bitcoin and subsequently increase its worth. Bitcoin’s rise to prominence was not without critical resistance. Early on, financial analysists, business moguls and entire national governments were hesitant to embrace it and other cryptocurrencies. Among Bitcoin’s biggest detractors included Jamie Dimon, CEO of J.P. Morgan Chase, who said in 2014 that “Bitcoin is a terrible store of value,” that it would not survive and went as far as to condemn it as “a fraud.” Others, like Bill Gates, had a more positive outlook saying, “Bitcoin is better than currency in that you don’t have to be physically in the same place and, of course, for large transactions, currency can get pretty inconvenient." A Brief Timeline of the Bitcoin Journey: 2008: Satoshi Nakamoto, Bitcoin’s founder, publishes Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System in the wake of Financial Crisis 2009: Nakamoto releases the first Bitcoin software; launches network containing the first units of the Bitcoin cryptocurrency 2010: One Bitcoin is worth $0.06 USD 2011: Other cryptocurrencies start to emerge based on Bitcoin’s open source code August 2014: 1.4 acres of land in Lake Tahoe purchased with Bitcoin for $1.6M USD September 2014: Paypal announces Bitcoin integration January 2015: One Bitcoin is worth $217.41 USD December 2016: One Bitcoin is worth $968.58 USD, increasing $749.17 since January 2015 September 2017: China’s government announces a ban on the sale and trading of ICO tokens, deeming them illegal across China November 21, 2017: Wall Street Journal reports that J.P. Morgan Chase is looking at allowing its clients to trade Bitcoin Futures November 27, 2017: Bitcoin’s market capitalization reaches $160 Billion USD, surpassing Disney, Mastercard, Boeing, IBM and McDonald's November 29, 2017: Nasdaq announces plans to launch Bitcoin Futures in first half of 2018; Bitcoin market cap reaches $180 Billion USD November 30, 2017: CME Group, the world’s leading and most diverse derivatives marketplace, completes self-certification with the Commodity Futures Trading Comission to launch its Bitcoin Futures contract on December 18, 2017 Today, Bitcoin’s popularity is at an all-time high. And for the early adopters bold enough to bet on cryptocurrencies, the rewards thus far proved astronomical. This week, the value of one Bitcoin surpassed $11,290 USD. If you owned $100 USD of Bitcoin in 2010, your $100 would be worth over $18.8M USD today (as of November 29). Bitcoin Trends in Real Estate As more people become educated about cryptocurrency, Bitcoin adoption, value, and spending will exceedingly increase. Naturally, many will look to real estate as a source of converting their digital currency into a tangible asset. Earlier this year, signs of this brewing trend became evident locally, nationally and abroad. Mike Komaransky, a Miami millionaire, announced that he would accept Bitcoin on his Coral Gables home listed for $6.4M USD; as did the owners of a penthouse at the Blue Diamond high-rise condominium in Miami Beach. Elsewhere in the U.S., the first bitcoin-only residential real estate transaction was completed on the sale of a home in Austin, TX. On the other side of the world, Aston Plaza and Residences in Dubai, a 2.4 million square foot pre-construction project, became the first major global development to accept Bitcoin as a form of payment. Future Forecast Bitcoin is poised to be the biggest game changer in the real estate market in 2018 and years to come. Expect to see the most visible signs of this at the closing phase. At the moment, there are no set protocols, rules or regulations when it comes to a cryptocurrency transaction for real estate. Challenges are bound to arise as monies are exchanged and titles are transferred all the while staying within compliance of current U.S. laws and regulations. On the other hand, if Blockchain technology were applied to contracts, titles, property history, and transfer of money, it could increase transparency and help prevent fraud. Another benefit: anyone, anywhere can own bitcoin now. Receiving that money through an international wire can sometimes take days whereas now, that money can be transferred within minutes. Who will be using cryptocurrency to buy real estate? "I think the demographic of the crypto user is a younger millennial, but, that being said, you have a lot of people come over from other countries, who are buyers from different places, who like to trade in different types of currency,” said Ben Shaoul, president of Magnum Real Estate Group headquartered in New York City. “Not everyone wants to trade in dollars or yen or euros." Much like the Internet boom, this new technology will be here to stay. With each new regulation and ever-increasing consumer awareness, Bitcoin inches closer and closer towards integrating itself into our daily lives. It’s not a matter of if, but when. About the Author: Bowie Stephens is a manager for Cervera Real Estate's Asia Division. She in an in-house sales associate for the new construction project, University Bridge.
Miami existing condo sales increased in October and luxury home transactions posted double-digit gains as Miami real estate returned to normalcy after Hurricane Irma-related tree debris and power outages delayed inspections, appraisals and closings the past two months, according to a new report by the MIAMI Association of REALTORS® (MIAMI) and the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) system. Miami existing condo sales — which are competing with one of the most robust new construction markets in the country — increased 1.5 percent year-over-year, from 983 to 998. Miami single-family homes stayed effectively even, decreasing 0.4 percent from 997 sales to 993. Luxury $1-million-plus sales, meanwhile, jumped 22.2 percent for single-family homes and 9.8 percent for condominiums. “Delays in getting clean-up crews, inspectors and appraisers out to properties after Hurricane Irma stalled many Miami closings the last two months,” said Christopher Zoller, the 2017 MIAMI chairman of the board. “Now that re-inspections are being completed and tree debris has been mostly removed, Miami real estate is back to another strong month of home sales. The rise in luxury home sales showcases the strength of Miami’s market fundamentals.” Miami Real Estate Resilient after Hurricanes History shows Miami home sales bounce back relatively quickly after a hurricane as long as there’s no major structural damage. MIAMI housing statistics, which date back to 1994, detail the market’s resilient nature. In October 2005, Hurricane Wilma left similar if not more damage, mostly fallen trees, in Miami. Miami single-family home sales increased 23.6 percent in the 60 days after Hurricane Wilma in October 2005. Single-Family Luxury Sales Jump 22.2 Percent, Condos up 9.8 Percent Miami single-family $1 million-plus transactions increased 22.2 percent, from 54 to 66. Miami existing condo luxury sales jumped 9.8 percent, from 51 to 56. The luxury increase follows a trend the Miami market was seeing before Hurricane Irma brought a temporary reduction to sales. A recent lowering of luxury asking prices, the potential for interest rates hikes and Congress’ planned tax reform could be leading luxury buyers to come off the sidelines. Luxury $1-million-plus single-family sales jumped for five consecutive months, from February to July 2017. Luxury condo sales increased for two consecutive months in June (8.7 percent year-over-year increase) and July (51.1 percent year-over-year increase). Total Miami Home Sales, Pending Transactions Increase in October Total existing Miami-Dade County residential sales — which posted a record year in 2013 and near record years in 2014 and 2015 — increased 0.6 percent year-over-year from 1,980 to 1,991. November housing sales could also be solid for Miami. New pending sales, which is the number of listed properties that went under contract, increased year-over-year for both Miami single-family and condos in October. New pending sales rose 2.3 percent for single-family homes and 7 percent for condos. Lack of access to mortgage loans continues to inhibit further growth of the existing condominium market. Of the 9,307 condominium buildings in Miami-Dade and Broward counties, only 12 are approved for Federal Housing Administration loans, down from 29 last year, according to Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation and FHA. Total sales volume for all properties accounted for $846 million last month. These sales do not include Miami’s multi-billion dollar new construction condo market. Nearly Six Years of Price Appreciation in Miami Miami-Dade County single-family home prices increased 9.7 percent in October 2017, increasing from $310,000 to $340,000. Miami single-family home prices have now risen for 71 consecutive months, a streak spanning nearly six years. Existing condo prices rose 1.1 percent, from $214,000 to $216,250 in October. Condo prices have increased in 74 of the last 77 months. Miami real estate remains a bargain. A 120-square meter condominium in Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Miami Beach cost $170,000 in 2016 Q3, according to the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR). The average cost of a 120-square meter apartment in 2016 in the prime inner city areas of London ($4.1 million), Hong Kong ($3.1 million), and New York ($2.2 million) were at least ten times higher, according to Global Property Guide. According to Freddie Mac, the interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.90 percent in October 2017; it averaged 3.47 percent during the same month a year earlier. Miami Distressed Sales Continue to Drop Only 9.7 percent of all closed residential sales in Miami were distressed last month, including REO (bank-owned properties) and short sales, compared to 14.8 percent in October 2016. In 2009, distressed sales comprised 70 percent of Miami sales. Total Miami distressed sales declined 34 percent year-over-year, from 294 to 194 last month. Short sales and REOs accounted for 2.7 and 7.1 percent, respectively, of total Miami sales in October 2017. Short sale transactions dropped 31.2 percent year-over-year while REOs fell 35 percent. Nationally, distressed sales accounted for 4 percent of sales in October, unchanged from 5 percent a year ago. Miami Real Estate Selling Close to List Price The median number of days between listing and contract dates for Miami single-family home sales was 47 days, a 6 percent decrease from 50 days last year. The median number of days between the listing date and closing date for single-family properties was 102 days, a 1.9 percent decrease from 104 days. The median time to contract for condos rose 2.6 percent to 80 days from 78 days. The median number of days between listing date and closing date increased 2.4 percent to 128 days. The median percent of original list price received for single-family homes was 95.4 percent. The median percent of original list price received for existing condominiums was 93.7 percent. National and State Statistics Nationally, total existing-home sales increased 2.0 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.48 million in October from a downwardly revised 5.37 million in September. After last month's increase, sales are at their strongest pace since June (5.51 million), but still remain 0.9 percent below a year ago. Statewide closed sales of existing single-family homes totaled 20,543 last month, up 2 percent compared to October 2016, according to Florida Realtors. Statewide closed condo sales totaled 8,116 last month, up 2.2 percent compared to October 2016. The national median existing-home price for all housing types in October was $247,000, up 5.5 percent from October 2016 ($234,100). October's price increase marks the 68th straight month of year-over-year gains. The statewide median sales price for single-family existing homes last month was $235,558, up 7.1 percent from the previous year, according to Florida Realtors. The statewide median price for townhouse-condo properties was $170,000, up 5.2 percent over the year-ago figure. October was the 70th month-in-a-row that statewide median prices for both sectors rose year-over-year. Miami’s Cash Buyers Represent almost Double the National Figure Miami cash transactions comprised 37.6 percent of October total closed sales, compared to 43.3 percent last year. Miami cash transactions are almost double the national figure (20 percent). Miami’s high percentage of cash sales reflects South Florida’s ability to attract a diverse number of international home buyers, who tend to purchase properties in all cash. Miami has a higher percent of cash sales for condos due to lack of financing approvals for buildings. Condominiums comprise a large portion of Miami’s cash purchases as 52.8 percent of condo closings were made in cash in October compared to 22.2 percent of single-family home sales. Seller’s Market for Single-Family Homes, Supply Declines in October Inventory of single-family homes decreased 4.8 percent in October from 6,459 active listings last year to 6,152 last month. Condominium inventory increased 5.6 percent to 15,222 from 14,408 listings during the same period in 2016. Monthly supply of inventory for single-family homes decreased 3.4 percent to 5.7 months, which indicates a seller’s market. Existing condominiums have a 14.0-month supply, which indicates a buyer’s market. A balanced market between buyers and sellers offers between six and nine months supply of inventory. Total active listings at the end of October increased 2.4 percent year-over-year, from 20,867 to 21,374. Active listings remain about 60 percent below 2008 levels when sales bottomed. New listings of Miami single-family homes increased 9.3 percent to 1,706 from 1,561. New listings of condominiums increased 21.4 percent, from 2,036 to 2,471. The increases come from homeowners who had planned to list their properties in September but were delayed as crews cleaned properties after Hurricane Irma. Nationally, total housing inventory at the end of October decreased 3.2 percent to 1.80 million existing homes available for sale, and is now 10.4 percent lower than a year ago (2.01 million) and has fallen year-over-year for 29 consecutive months. Unsold inventory is at a 3.9-month supply at the current sales pace, which is down from 4.4 months a year ago. Note: Statistics in this report were provided by the MIAMI Association of REALTORS®
Miami has seen a recent boom in not only condominium construction and sales but also resales. While many buildings are still in the pre-construction or construction stages, there is always a demand for units in existing buildings, observers say. Of the 50 most expensive, prices range from $13.9 million for a 6,120-square-foot unit on Fisher Island to $55 million for a penthouse at Faena at 3315 Collins Ave. on Miami Beach. The five-bedroom, five-bath unit features 8,273 square feet of living space. Though sellers of single-family homes priced at more than $1.5 million have had to drop their prices an average of 3.8%, condo prices were reduced by only 1.1%, according to the Multiple Listing Service. “The top of the market is stable,” said Alicia Cervera, managing partner and principal of Cervera Real Estate. “It’s not a raging market – which everybody prefers – but it’s not in freefall, either.” There’s no shortage of buyers, but different factors motivate them to buy, she said. “The reality is, you’re selling to a very small pond, maybe 5% of the population. People at this level have the cash; it just depends on when they want to pull the trigger.” Cervera Real Estate advertises both locally and in targeted luxury publications. “The big shift is that you don’t market geographically, but to other demographic factors: where they go, what luxury items they consume. What appeals to them? Is it the boat show, is it Art Basel, is it the Miami 500 races? We advertise in our own backyard, too, because we know wealthy people from around the world come here.” In Miami, luxury condo buyers want to be on the water, near upscale restaurants and luxury shopping, Ms. Cervera said. Edgewater, where Cervera Real Estate is marketing Elysee Miami and Biscayne Beach, is near the Design District, as is Aria on the Bay; Aston Martin Residences is downtown, close to Zuma and DB Moderne restaurants, she added. Other properties the group represents are The Grove at Grand Bay and The Markers in Coconut Grove and The Bond and Smart Brickell in Brickell. Demand for the buildings is driven by high occupancy overall (97%) and “rents going through the roof,” Ms. Cervera said. “It takes two or three years for a building to deliver, so it’s good that we have all of these units coming on the market. Otherwise, it would have stifled the city.” It’s also fortunate that the buildings are proceeding at different schedules, to accommodate those who want to move in right away, as well as those who can wait, she added. “It’s good to have some that are close to finishing; Aria on the Bay will be finished in January. We sold it out, and people want to move in. Biscayne Beach is finished. Life changes quickly, and it’s hard to know where you’ll be in four years.” A major change in this building boom is that more people will occupy their units, even if on a part-time basis, she said. “Someone has to call it home, even if it’s one week or one month a year, so it’s not idle. In Miami, that hasn’t been an issue. In fact, we have buildings being occupied very quickly.” “It’s the definition of luxury,” said Chad Carroll of Douglas Elliman, describing the $39 million penthouse on which the company has an exclusive listing in the Regalia in Sunny Isles Beach. With nearly 17,000 square feet, it is the second most expensive condominium unit for sale in Miami-Dade County. The two-story penthouse at Regalia comprises 10,700 square feet (at $3,600 per square foot) with a 7,000-square-foot rooftop terrace and private pool reached by glass elevator, dual master bedrooms, a great room, movie theater, game and family rooms, private spa, wine cellar and guest room with its own living space. Finishes include Nikzad wood and Blanco Sevilla stone flooring, Kreon designer lighting, custom speakers and millwork, Falma Italian closets, and programmable controls for lighting, shades, temperature and music. “No expense was spared,” Mr. Carroll said. Designed by Arquitectonica’s Bernardo Fort-Brescia, the building itself offers only 39 units, he said, with unit prices starting from $8 million. They have 360-degree wrap-around terraces that offer unobstructed views of the Atlantic Ocean, Golden Beach, the Intracoastal Waterway and the skylines of Miami, Miami Beach and Fort Lauderdale. Another listing in the Regalia is a six-bedroom, six-bath “beach house” comprising 10,515 square feet, with a private pool, sauna, steam room and spa. It is listed for $29 million, he said. “We have had interest from hedge fund managers, European families, Brazilians. It’s a very diverse group,” Mr. Carroll said. “The ultra-wealthy just love the building because it makes them feel at home. We’ve been very active.” This article originally appeared in Miami Today
The aftermath of Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Maria will likely lead to a slight increase in demand for short-term rentals by people from the Caribbean displaced from the monster storms, while the market for snowbirds will remain steady, according to industry experts. “The net difference is that yes, we will have more,” said Ron Shuffield, president and CEO of EWM Realty International. “But will it be a dramatic increase? Probably not.” Some homeowners and tenants whose residences were destroyed in places such as the Florida Keys, U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico will likely search for temporary housing in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties, Shuffield said. However, he expects many more will want to sign leases for one year or longer, if they don’t already have a permanent home in South Florida. “There could be some 13,000 students from Monroe County who are coming to public school in Miami-Dade,” he said. “For their families, they would need accommodations that are more than temporary.” Courtney Smitheman, a principal with Jupiter-based Crane Reed Properties, said she had a resident from the U.S. Virgin Islands inquiring about short-term rentals her company is handling. Her listings range from one-bedroom apartments starting at about $3,000 a month to estate homes that go for $10,000 to $15,000 a month. “I know several people who are coming back to the mainland because of the unsafe conditions and the lack of work in the U.S. Virgin Islands right now,” she said. “There is also a pretty good chance we will see more Puerto Ricans displaced by Hurricane Maria. They will be the next transition of people coming to the mainland.” Meanwhile, she hasn’t noticed a drop-off in seasonal rentals for the upcoming fall and winter months. “Those are mostly snowbirds from the Northeast,” Smitheman said. “They typically stay for three to six months. The only negative impact prior to the storm were requests for shorter terms, especially from Canada.” Veronica Cervera, CEO and principal of Cervera Real Estate, said she doesn’t expect to see “big activity” in the short-term rental market because the number of Miami-Dade residents who have been displaced because of Irma is relatively low. “There’s no pent-up demand for short-term rentals,” Cervera said. Her company currently lists short-term rentals from Hallandale Beach to the Brickell financial district. Tenants can sign month-to-month leases for condos starting at $3,800 and going as high as $8,500. She said Cervera’s short-term rental clientele includes condo buyers waiting for a new development to be completed, people who want to experience living in a condo before actually buying one, and tourists who don’t feel comfortable staying in hotels for extended periods of time. “We didn’t have any cancellations,” she said. “But we do expect a backlog of about two to three weeks.” Data on how Irma impacted daily and weekly rentals conducted through Airbnb is harder to come by. Benjamin Breit, a spokesman for the company, said he could not provide accurate information on the number of Airbnb bookings that were canceled in September due to Hurricane Irma or figures for canceled bookings through November 1, the day hurricane season ends. The company does offer a disaster response program in Florida in which Airbnb hosts can offer residences to displaced individuals at no charge. To date, more than 230 hosts have opted into the program to list their homes for free to those in need, Briet said. This article originally appeared in The Real Deal
Miami has clearly evolved into a thriving financial center, global gateway, hub for world class arts and culture, destination for education and healthcare, tourism juggernaut, and wellspring of prime waterfront residential real estate ... and yet, until recently, the city’s relationship with the Asian market has been limited. The reasons for this include regional unfamiliarity with Miami, lingering misconceptions of the “Miami Vice” era and the absence of direct flights from South Florida to East Asia. However, key factors indicate the dawn of a sweeping Asian-influenced era in South Florida. How did we arrive here? And more important, what does it mean for South Florida and Miami’s economic growth? MORE THAN CHINA Despite measures by its government to curb capital outflow, China is still dominating the global real estate scene. A look at the numbers shows that investment in Florida real estate by Chinese buyers increased by 1 percent year-over-year from 2015 to 2016, according to the Florida Association of Realtors. “Interest from Chinese buyers and investors continues to grow in South Florida,” Teresa Kinney, president of the MIAMI Association of REALTORS, told me at the close of the three-day Global Luxury Summit in April. “For the first time in 2016, Chinese buyers ranked in the top tier of foreign purchasers in South Florida. Like other foreign investors, they are attracted to the desirability of our location, profitability of investment, safety, climate, clean air, shopping venues, and our institutions of higher learning.” Other Asian markets, including Japan, have also begun to take interest in South Florida. The $220 million purchase of the iconic Miami Tower by the U.S. arm of Japanese trade conglomerate Sumitorro Corporation was one of our city’s biggest investment deals this year, as well as a surprising display of optimism from a company that has only a handful of marquee properties stateside. Asian American Pacific Islanders are also becoming more active in the U.S. mortgage market, even as they are already the top minority participant in terms of both loans secured and total dollar volume since 2010. In April, Chinese President Xi Jinping arrived in Boca Raton to meet with President Donald Trump. His visit to Mar-a-Lago cast a giant spotlight on Florida and is perhaps our state’s biggest curtain call for the Asian market. Jinping’s presence has been known to generate a “golden goose” ripple effect — if he puts his stamp of approval on something, Chinese buyers will typically follow. (For example, within seven months of Jinping’s 2015 visit to Seattle, it became the No. 1 destination for Chinese buyers of U.S. real estate.) The second major event to take place in April, the Asian Real Estate Association of America (an organization dedicated to promoting sustainable housing in the U.S. for Asian American Pacific Islanders, for which I serve as the Miami chapter president) held its annual Global Luxury Summit in this city. More than 730 people attended this major conference, representing chapters across North America, and over a dozen countries. This was the largest gathering of Asian-American real estate practitioners and business professionals in the history of Miami and gave us an extraordinary platform to showcase our city — especially to many who had never been here, or had little knowledge of how dramatically our city has evolved. “We chose Miami because, over the last decade or so, this city has absolutely exploded onto the international business and real estate scenes,” said Angie Lee, 2017 AREAA national president, told me at the summit. “The Asian-American population in Miami is beginning to surge, Asian capital is beginning to flood into the market, and our Miami chapter is actually the fastest growing in our entire organization; everything about this city is on the rise.” COMING SOON: DIRECT FLIGHTS Direct flights between Miami and the Chinese mainland — a critical piece of the puzzle — are on the horizon. While speaking on a panel at the AREAA conference, Greg Owens from Miami International Airport affirmed that MIA is ready and eager to finalize a new route agreement with Hong Kong-based Cathay Pacific, and expects it to happen within 24 months. (The airline is a subsidiary of China’s Swire Group, whose stakes in South Florida include Brickell Key and Brickell City Centre.) “We look at direct flights to determine who will be buying in our market, as buyers are more likely to purchase in markets they can access via nonstop travel,” Kinney said. “We are confident that direct flights from China will further generate significant investment in our market.” Have we reached a “tipping point,” where Miami becomes a primary investment, relocation, and tourism destination for Asians? Time will tell, but the twin impacts of the Jinping visit and the historic AREAA conference cannot be overstated. As my colleague Tom Truong of the AREAA Boston Chapter said after the Global Luxury Summit, “Miami is open for business and geared up for tremendous growth now and in years to come.” This article originally appeared in The Miami Herald
Recent studies and surveys have shown that most millennials cannot afford to buy a home in major U.S. real estate markets, let alone a pricey condo in a luxury tower in Miami. Yet, real estate experts who participated in the Asian Real Estate Association of America 2017 Global Luxury Summit this past weekend claim a small, high net-worth segment of the coveted demographic are increasingly shopping for homes in South Florida. Karen Chau, Asia general manager for real estate tech company Investorist, told attendees at the Four Seasons Hotel in Brickell that Chinese millennials are bullish on real estate. A recent study by HSBC found that nearly 70 percent of young adults in China are already homeowners. “Many buyers in China are millennials who have been educated in the U.S. and have gone back to China to further careers but still consider U.S. real estate a desirable and sound investment,” Chau said. During a panel discussion on millennials and luxury real estate, Coldwell Banker’s The Jills sales associate Danny Hertzberg said he’s had success with young entrepreneurial buyers looking to acquire luxury properties in Miami. “They are in their mid-twenties to early thirties and come from a start-up, tech background,” Hertzberg said. “And they are expecting a very high standard from the brokers they hire.” Hertzberg said millennial clients he has worked with are proactive buyers who conduct listing searches on their own, as well as compile market data on neighborhoods where they want to buy. “They have done their due diligence on everything,” he said. “That means you have to come in with more. They want someone who can add value and not someone who just comes with a bunch of listings.” Panelist John Jones, a private mortgage banking and area sales manager for Wells Fargo, said roughly 54 percent of millennials who seek home financing are college-educated women. “Lenders have to differentiate themselves by customizing the types of products they are offering,” Jones said. “For instance, they want to know what different payment options are available. They want to know how they can maximize their home ownership.” Hertzberg added that real estate experts must have a savvy social media strategy to interact successfully with millennial buyers. “Their worlds have shifted to Instagram,” he said. “International luxury millennials may not have a Facebook account, but they certainly have Instagram, which is something everyone should put their energy into. After all, real estate is all about images and video.” This was the first year that the association, known by its acronym AREAA, hosted its annual global summit in Miami. More than 700 real estate professionals attended the three-day event. “Our goal is to provide educational opportunities to Miami’s local community that is interested in servicing the Asian American market,” said AREAA Greater Miami chapter president Jesse Ottley. “I think in the next 10 years, we will see a shift in Miami, and a big part of that will be the influence of Asian investors settling down here.” This article originally appeared in The Real Deal
Miami is a town of visionaries, from the original pioneers like Julia Tuttle and Mary Brickell to modern-day trail blazers like Tony Goldman, the urban place-maker responsible for emerging neighborhoods like New York’s SoHo, Miami Beach and the Wynwood Arts District. The “Magic City” has been erected on the dreams and determination of few. It has been built on a philosophy embodied in Goldman’s immortal words: “If you just look at what you see, you won’t go anywhere. You’ve got to look beyond what you see to be able to know you can realize the dream you imagine.” Before it was one of the most valuable destinations in the world, Miami Beach’s South of Fifth neighborhood was a rundown neighborhood. Those of us in the industry who have been around Miami real estate long enough will remember that 20 years ago, the tall glistening towers that welcome cruise passengers to our city were but a glimmer in the eye of a few forward-thinking developers that saw the potential of this area. Alongside those developers, our firm’s strategic sales and marketing efforts contributed to the transformation of this neighborhood, which runs south from Fifth Street to Government Cut. Apogee, Icon South Beach, Murano Grande, Ocean House, 321 Ocean, Portofino Tower and Yacht Club at Portofino were among the 90 percent of the waterfront buildings we represented in the South of Fifth area. In the process, we helped brand this exclusive neighborhood, now known as SoFi. It wasn’t easy, but the developers, brokers and buyers who believed in SoFi’s potential were the beneficiaries. For example, the residences at Apogee, the pinnacle of SoFi luxury living, had an average price per square foot just more than $1,000 at launch in 2004. Today, Apogee’s residences average $2,500 per square foot, with penthouses well over $4,000 per square foot. Two decades removed and two miles west across the shimmering waters of Biscayne Bay, another SoFi is emerging. East Edgewater, with its strategic waterfront location, proximity to Miami’s most in-demand zones and amazing value proposition, is the best opportunity Miami has seen since abandoned dog tracks and retirement homes called South Beach home. We find ourselves again staring down opportunity and potential. East Edgewater is immediately north of downtown, between the Venetian and Julia Tuttle Causeways, east of Biscayne Boulevard adjacent to Biscayne Bay. With the beaches to its east, Wynwood Arts District and the airport to the west, downtown Miami to the south and the Design District to the north, it sits at the crossroads of luxury retail, high-end dining and world-class arts and culture. In the 1930s, East Edgewater was home to the city’s most affluent individuals. By the 1980s, as other areas of Miami developed, the once highly regarded zone had fallen into disrepair. In the early 2000s, with the zoning changes allowing high-rises, came forward-thinking developers: Quantum on the Bay set the pace for the resurgence of this area, and today it sits as the only neighborhood in downtown Miami with waterfront that is zoned for high-rise condominium residences, presenting a rare opportunity. Miami’s major developers — Terra Group, Melo Group, Two Roads, OKO and RELATED, among others — have doubled down. When the smart people of Miami set their eyes on an area, smart money follows. Since 2011, 10 pre-construction projects have launched in East Edgewater, putting it among Miami’s fastest-growing neighborhoods. Of those, Crimson, Paraiso Bay, Icon Bay and Bay House have been delivered. Another five projects are expected to be delivered by the end of 2017, bringing 1,500 new residences to East Edgewater. As demand for the neighborhood increases, so has the level of ultra-luxury offerings. Elysee Miami (starting at $1.5 million) and Missoni Baia (starting at $2 million), which my firm represents, have launched sales in the last 12 months. 10The number of pre-construction projects that have launched in East Edgewater since 2011. neighborhoods. Buyers have flocked from all around the world: Venezuela, Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, France, Italy and Turkey being among the top international countries of origin. Emerging Latin American markets such as Ecuador and Peru, as well as markets farther east from China, Singapore and UAE, have also begun to take interest in the area’s ultra-luxury inventory. Easy access to major transit links, spectacular waterfront views and close proximity to Miami’s in-demand zones only add to the appeal of East Edgewater’s value proposition. By far, the major motivator for buyers has been the opportunity to purchase ultra-premium luxury residences significantly below comparable premium waterfront in Miami, Miami Beach and most of the world’s leading global cities. The average per-square-foot for ultra-luxury waterfront residences in East Edgewater ranges from the low $700’s to the high $800’s, more than three-times lower than SoFi’s $2,805 average per square foot. Simply put, East Edgewater offers an unprecedented value proposition, with an outlook toward exalted appreciation. We need look no further than the thriving Wynwood Arts District to realize the power of Goldman’s words. From his singular restaurant (Joey’s) has emerged an epicenter of art and culture. This history, this promise for the future, is all around us. It was the case in SoFi, and it is the case today in East Edgewater. This article originally appeared in The Miami Herald