International Buyers Driving Billion Dollar Real Estate Boom in Miami

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Billions of dollars from foreign investors may propel Miami into the ranks of the world’s elite cities.

The construction crane has returned to the city’s skyline with an Argentine company’s new condo tower. Foreign developers — and projects backed by foreign investors — have emerged in force [“Foreign-Backed Projects,” page 44], and more may be in the offing.

“There are a lot that have invested — and it’s not even public — that are of equal financial strength and stature as Genting and Swire,” says a land-use attorney for those two firms, former Miami Beach Mayor Neisen Kasdin, managing shareholder for Akerman Senterfitt’s Miami office.

“This is completely different in quality and quantity and depth and staying power than anything we’ve ever seen before, and it bodes very well for us,” says Kasdin. “It’s a recognition that Miami has arrived as a major global gateway city.”

Read More (Florida Trend)

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Town of Palm Beach Property Provides Caviar & More at the Palm Beach Civic Association “Welcome Home” Party!

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TownOfPalmBeach.com Publisher Irina Sedelnikova is a corporate sponsor of the Civic Association and is getting more involved in town activities that concern Palm Beach and its luxury brand.

The Welcome Home party is a way to greet residents and have them see each other after having been away during the off-season.

Irina Sedelnikova with Palm Beach Mayor Gail Coniglio

“It was wonderful to see the hundreds of residents come together after six or more months away,” said Ms. Sedelnikova. “We are happy to launch this new real estate news service during this important time in the market.”

Town leaders participated and enjoyed the fantastic success of the event.

Click Here to See More Pictures from the Event

Brazilians Lead Florida Real Estate Boom

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Cash-rich Brazilians are leading a revival in South Florida real estate – one of the markets hit hardest by the US property crash – underlining the diverging fortunes of the two largest economies in the Americas.

Brazilians, along with other Latin Americans and Canadians, have driven up prices of condominiums in the popular coastal neighbourhoods of Miami by an estimated 50 per cent from their lows in 2009, according to Condo Vultures, a Miami real estate consultancy.

One welcome feature of the boom is that Brazilians are paying in cash for 85 per cent of their properties, according to the US National Association of Realtors. Developers have responded by unveiling projects in Miami for the first time since the crisis.
“Right now everything’s all about Brazil,” says Peter Zalewski, principal of Condo Vultures, which tracks supply. “Brazilians are rock stars in Miami right now.”

Miami and other parts of Florida have for years attracted investment from abroad – from Latin America in particular. Along with the property markets of Texas, Arizona, New York and California, the Florida real estate market has tended to benefit from foreign investment during US downturns.

Read More (Financial Times)

Town of Palm Beach’s Brand in a Digital Age

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Image courtesy of the Palm Beach Convention & Visitors Bureau

In the digital age, it’s not just the purveyors of toothpaste or soft drinks who look to create a clear brand image in the global marketplace to ensure success for their products.

Places such as Palm Beach, too, can benefit from establishing themselves as coherent and consistent brands, as long as the associations made at the mention of a town’s name are unique, relevant and authentic.

Read More (Palm Beach Daily News)

The Palm Beach brand is defined as “as wealthy and resilient, safe and beautiful.”  “Visitors see Palm Beach as an exclusive playground for the ultra-rich, a retail mecca and a glamorous place to spend time and money.”

Florida Markets Dominate Realtor.com Top Ten Turnaround Report

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A contributing factor in Florida’s success can be tied to international buyers*; the number of buyers from outside the U.S. purchasing homes increased from 10 percent in 2007 to 31 percent in 2011.

Read More (National Association of Realtors)

*National Association of Realtors® Florida Market Report [November 2011]

Top 20 list of single-family homes by total market value in the Town of Palm Beach

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With the top priced residence at $74 million (photo) according to the Palm Beach County Property Appraisers Office, the town’s property is showing strong signs of life. See the rest of the top 20:

Read More (Palm Beach Daily News)

Ten properties top the Palm Beach properties list

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Ready to reach deep into your wallet for a Palm Beach house this season? Right now, you’ll only find five single-family homes priced above $40 million in the Palm Beach Board of Realtors Multiple Listing Service, based on what was available last Monday.
Read More (Palm Beach Daily News)

Housing market is terrific, if you are rich

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It’s starting to feel as if there are two housing markets. One for the rich — and international buyers — and one for everyone else.  Think of this housing market as bipolar. In the luxury sector, the recession is a memory; sales and prices are rising. Everywhere else, the market is moving sideways or getting worse.

In this land of luxury properties, the Great Recession seems over. Prices of $1 million-plus properties have risen 0.7% since February, according to Zillow. Prices of houses under $1 million have fallen more than 1.5%.  Normally, these two segments of the housing market rise and fall together. Now, they’re moving in opposite directions.

“Luxury is the best performing segment of the housing market right now,” says Zillow.com chief economist Stan Humphries.

Read More (USA Today)

Evans Report: 2011 seeing increase in real estate sales

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Real estate agents who sell single-family homes in Palm Beach may need to replace their Jimmy Choo pumps and Gucci loafers for the upcoming season.

The latest Evans Report sales analysis shows plenty of shoe leather hit the pavement during the first half of this year, when the number of house sales rose substantially over the same period last year.

The increase both reflects lower home prices and more confidence in the island’s real estate market, said Leslie Evans, the Palm Beach real estate attorney and property owner who prepares the reports.

“I’m optimistic. We’re seeing a big increase in sales,” said Evans, whose firm provides legal services to real estate agencies and their clients. “If people didn’t think (prices) had bottomed out, they wouldn’t be buying here.”

Read More (Palm Beach Daily News)

International buyers account for nearly 25% of Fla. home sales

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Nearly one in four Florida homes sold last year went to an international buyer, according to a report by the National Association of Realtors. The report found that South Florida was a top destination for foreign buyers, who accounted for nearly 25 percent of all home sales statewide. Nationally, non-U.S. residents made up only about 3 percent of sales.

International buyers spent more than $12 billion on Florida real estate in 2010. Half of of the international buyers planned to use the home as a vacation home, while 21 percent planned to use it as an investment property, the report found. Four out of five used all cash for the purchase.

South Florida was the most popular destination in the state for buyers from Latin America, Eastern, and Western Europe.