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Alberto Romero's Blog

Some lines to educate about Real Estate

By Alberto Romero | Managing Broker in Miami, FL
  • 7 Reasons Your House Isn't Selling

    Posted Under: Market Conditions in Miami-dade County, Home Selling in Miami-dade County  |  June 17, 2013 7:38 PM  |  888 views  |  No comments

    Having trouble attracting a buyer? How to overcome some common obstacles to a home sale.

    Housing is back. The market is starting to hum again—even roar in some areas, with demand outstripping supply. A new report from the National Association of Realtors shows that sales of existing homes in February saw the most growth in more than three years. But a stronger market isn't a guarantee that you can sell your house. There will always be reasons people won't buy what you're offering.

    If you've been having bad luck on the market, you may want to cross the street, hold up a mirror and take a good, long look. According to numerous housing experts, the most common reasons your house isn't selling are the following.

    1. You're pricing it too high. Without question, the No. 1 reason a home doesn't sell is price, Sellers have an emotional attachment to their homes and tend not to objective about the true value.

    2. Your house is kind of run-down. This doesn't mean you need to renovate your kitchen or fix your leaky roof. Well, you do need to fix the leaky roof, but you don't need to spend $40,000 on a new kitchen. Sometimes it's as easy as doing some fresh landscaping or a fresh coat of paint in certain areas.

    3. Your house isn't run-down, but it looks like it might be. "Any signs of water damage can be a huge turn-off to potential buyers. Take a water spot on the ceiling. The offending roof might have been fixed 15 years ago, but if the evidence is still there, buyers will assume there's still a problem, water damage makes buyers understandably jumpy, and can keep a home on the market indefinitely.

    4. There's too much "you" in the house. It sounds cruel, but you want to sell your house to other people, who can imagine themselves living in your house. Simply put, you are not them.

    This is perhaps the most common problem of all, buyers rarely have the same tastes as sellers, What to do? I recommend moving your stuff, or at least some of it, out of the house and painting the rooms neutral colors so the buyer's imagination can start taking flight.

    5. You are inflexible. No offense, but maybe you aren't showing your house off enough? If you aren't using a real estate agent and work away from your home, your time might be limited, of course. But you should try to make your house as accessible and available as possible for a Realtor and a potential homebuyer to easily drop by and take a tour (which means having the place clean, too).

    Having your home be shown only by appointment or only at designated times will severely cut down on the number of showings you get, and if the house isn't getting shown, it isn't going to get sold.

    6. You aren't advertising your home properly. If you aren't a photographer or much of a writer, you may be giving your potential buyers an underwhelming idea of what it would be like to live where you live, you don't want your photos and prose to blow away homebuyers too much, if your house can't live up to what you're posting online or in brochures.

    A description that doesn't meet a homebuyer's expectation when visiting the property in person may also contribute to a failed site.

    7. Your house is poorly located or poorly planned. As you suspect, there's really not much you can do about either problem.

    It's just a reality that some homeowners have to deal with, you may be able to fix relatively easy is if the lot has a major drawback. Maybe the yard is extremely small, or there's an awkward hill that makes it challenging to mow a lawn. In that case, great landscaping could be helpful, says Mogal.

    If you are having trouble selling your home, and you don't think it's due to any of the aforementioned reasons, Golden recommends bringing in a neutral, objective third party to take a look at your house and make suggestions.

    There are things such as a bad odor in the home, a dog or cat smell, or mildew, or tidiness of the home that can affect how a potential buyer is going to view your property.

    Even little fixes, like keeping the blinds open to let in more light or adjusting the temperature so it's less cold or warm can make a buyer more optimistic that they could have a future where you live. If you don't or can't do that, you might as well pull up a chair and get comfortable. You aren't going anywhere.

  • Miami’s Condo Market Rebounds, Stoking a Building Boom

    Posted Under: Market Conditions in Miami, Home Buying in Miami, Investment Properties in Miami  |  June 17, 2013 7:18 PM  |  1,107 views  |  No comments
    MIAMI — Of the 22,000 condos created in downtown Miami during the boom years, only about 600 remain unsold — thanks mainly to an influx of Latin American investors seeking a safe haven for their money.


    The construction of Brickell CityCentre in Miami, which will have 800 condos.

    Developers are reacting to the unexpectedly swift condo recovery in a predictable way: they are building more condos.

    The most ambitious project by far is the $1.05 billion Brickell CityCentre, a 5.4-million-square-foot mixed-use development that will add about 800 condo units in two 43-story towers to the central business district, a hotel, a luxury movie theater, and a wellness center aimed at tourists from Latin America. With the Brickell CityCentre, the downtown neighborhood will have its first upscale shopping center and its first office building since 2007.

    The Miami construction boom — with its own local idiosyncrasies — comes after a broad revival in the real estate market.

    As demand rises and supply shrinks, cities around the country are experiencing a residential rebound.

    In February, national home prices jumped by 9.3 percent over the same month a year ago, the highest growth rate since May 2006, according to data released on Tuesday by the S&P/Case-Shiller index, which measures 20 major cities.

    Miami fared better than most, with home values rising by 10.4 percent. The local condo market, which is not counted in the Case-Shiller data, is equally robust. Prices of condos in downtown Miami increased to $440 a square foot in the last quarter, compared with $400 in the same quarter a year ago, according to Condo Vultures, a local brokerage.

    With foreign buyers scooping up properties, developers are trying to capitalize on the demand.

    In the last two years, 25 new condo projects have been announced in the downtown area, although it is far from certain they will all be completed. Within sight of Brickell CityCentre alone, eight residential buildings are under construction, including three being developed by the Related Group, an affiliate of the Related Companies of New York.

    “We seem to be on the cusp of another boom,” said Peter Zalewski, a principal at Condo Vultures. “The question is whether this will be a controlled boom or another out-of-control boom, which is what we’re known for.”

    The developers of Brickell CityCentre, Swire Properties, a division of the Hong Kong conglomerate with deep roots in Miami, are trying to balance the various market forces. While the residential market is looking healthier, demand for office space is still weak.

    Swire also sees a strong need for high-end shopping in the rapidly growing downtown neighborhood. The company’s partner in the 500,000-square-foot retail component at Brickell CityCentre is the Whitman family, the owners of Bal Harbour Shops, a hugely successful open-air shopping center just north of Miami Beach.

    On the office side, Swire is remaining cautious. The vacancy rate in the city’s financial district is well into the double digits at roughly 16.7 percent, according to CBRE, a real estate services firm.

    Swire hopes eventually to include an office tower with 750,000 square feet, but for now, the office component of the project will contain only 120,000 square feet. Diana L. Parker, a senior vice president at CBRE, said the new office space would be available just as a number of leases downtown were expiring. “Their timing is impeccable,” she said.

    The plans for Brickell CityCentre reflect Miami’s desire to bring its downtown in line with trends occurring in business districts across the country, where developers are being encouraged to provide convenience to public transportation, street-level retail and underground parking. Occupying four blocks, the Brickell CityCentre is next to the 8th Street station serving Metromover, a free transit line that circulates downtown.

    Stephen L. Owens, president of Swire, said his company had been looking at the location, known as West Brickell, since 2006 when two of the sites were listed for sale at $110 million. Two years later, Swire paid $41 million for those properties, which were vacant except for several dozen 100-year-old oak trees. (The trees were uprooted and transported by barge to Museum Park on the other side of the Miami River.) Subsequently, Swire added to its assemblage by buying the Brickell Tennis Center and 799 Brickell Plaza.

    That gave Swire 9.1 acres — slightly more than it needed to qualify as a special area under Miami’s new zoning code. This designation enabled the developer to work with the city to create a master plan that includes improvements to the streets and sidewalks.

    Officials are allowing Swire to build two bridges to make it easier for shoppers to travel from one building to another. These bridges will house shops and cafes, Mr. Owens said. “The biggest challenge was connectivity,” he said. Many urban planners, however, frown on such bridges because they draw foot traffic away from sidewalk.

    Swire also won approval to build something rare in Miami — an underground parking lot with 1,600 spaces for the project’s commercial components. Shoppers will of course have the option of taking the Metromover and getting off at the 8th Street station, which Swire is also renovating.

    Though Miami is not exactly known for its public transportation, ridership on both Metromover and Metrorail, an elevated train that connects suburbs north and south of Miami, has been steadily increasing — up 5.5 percent and 11.3 percent in February over the same period in the previous year.

    The increased usage, in part, comes after an influx of young residents to downtown. The recent condo boom was driven primarily by cash-paying Latin American investors who either use the apartments occasionally or rent them out, often to young professionals working nearby, said Mr. Zalewski of Condo Vultures.

    Swire’s focus on high-end shopping also happened to coincide with a new direction in the Whitmans’ business. Since Bal Harbour Shops opened in 1965, the family had luxury shopping almost exclusively to itself and fought strenuously to keep tenants from opening other stores in the area. The Whitmans say sales last year at Bal Harbour Shops — their lone shopping center — were $2,810 a square foot, compared to a national average of $526.

    But more recently, several longtime tenants, including Louis Vuitton, Cartier and Hermès, have decamped to the Design District across Biscayne Bay. Luxury shops are also opening at Aventura Mall, just north of Miami.

    With the competitive landscape changing, the Whitmans decided to expand by investing in Brickell CityCentre. “We see that area as a strong residential community with a thriving tourist market that is only getting stronger,” said Matthew Whitman Lazenby, the operating partner of Bal Harbour Shops and a grandson of the company’s founder, Stanley Whitman.

    The shopping center is being designed so that shoppers will feel the breezes off Biscayne Bay, just as they do at Bal Harbour. A glass trellis will “protect you from the outside elements but let you have a natural al fresco experience,” Mr. Owens said.

    “This will be our Rockefeller Center,” said Robert Kaplan, a principal with the Miami Beach office of Ackman-Ziff, a New York-based mortgage brokerage, referring to the Brickell CityCentre. “We don’t have anything like that here.”

  • Rent vs. buy: Top five cities where it's better to buy (or rent) a home

    Posted Under: Market Conditions in Miami, Home Buying in Miami, Rent vs Buy in Miami  |  June 8, 2013 9:31 AM  |  1,081 views  |  No comments
    With interest rates on 30-year mortgages hitting yet another record low this week -- 4.27%, according to Freddie Mac -- it makes sense to rush out and buy a home, right?

    Maybe not. New York-based real estate research firm Reis Inc. reported Thursday that a surge of renters in the third quarter pushed the national apartment vacancy rate down to 7.2%, from 7.8% the quarter before, one of the steepest drops ever. So more people are renting. And somewhat surprisingly, despite the strong rental demand, rent prices have remained relatively flat. So it's better to rent, right?



    If you're confused, keep this in mind: Whether it's more economical to buy or rent depends on where you live.

    Cities with high foreclosure rates and bottom-of-the-barrel home prices, such as Fresno, Calif.; Miami, Fla.; Mesa, Ariz.; and Detroit, Mich., are key areas where it doesn't make sense to rent, according to Trulia.com's Rent vs. Buy Index.

    Top Five Cities Where it's Better to Buy vs. Rent


    Rank City State Price: rent ratio

    1 Arlington TX 7

    2 Fresno CA 8

    3 Miami FL 9

    4 Mesa AZ 9

    5 Phoenix AZ 10

    Source: Trulia.com

    Conversely, in high-priced cities where home values are holding and jobs are more plentiful, such as New York City, Seattle, San Francisco, and Boston, renting is the most cost-effective option.

    Top Five Cities where it's better to Rent vs. Buy


    Rank City State Price: rent ratio
    1 New York NY 35
    2 Seattle WA 31
    3 Fort Worth TX 30
    4 Omaha NE 25
    5 Sacramento CA 23
    Source: Trulia.com

    "Choosing to buy a home or continue to rent is a highly personal financial and life decision that many people are grappling with right now," says Trulia CEO and co-founder Pete Flint. The Rent vs. Buy Index was created to "help prospective buyers make the right decisions for their own personal situations."

    The top city in which to rent, rather than buy is, of course, New York City, where the price-to-rent ratio is 35 (read below for the significance of that number). The median rent there is $3,000. The top city in which to buy compared to renting is Arlington, Texas, where the median price of a single-family home is $107,960, and the price-to-rent ratio is 7. What does that mean?

    Here's how the price-to-rent ratio breaks down:
    • A price-to-rent ratio of 1-15: It is much less expensive to own than to rent a home in that city.
    • A price-to-rent ratio of 16-20: It is more expensive to own a home. The total costs of ownership of a home in this city are greater than the costs of renting, but it might still make financial sense.
    • A price-to-rent ratio of 21+: The total costs of owning a home are much greater than the costs of renting.
    Now for the math: The ratio numbers are derived from using the average list price in a particular city compared with the average rent there of a two-bedroom apartment or condo, town home or co-op. The index includes the total cost of homeownership versus the total price of renting. So, for example, if the average list price in a city is $90,445 and the average rent is $936, the price-to-rent ratio ($90,445 divided by [$936 x 12] ) is about 8.05. Get your real estate agent there, quickly!

    Los Angeles is No. 37 on the 50-city rent-to-buy index, with a price-to-rent index of 19. Certainly not in the New York range, but still a place where it's cheaper to rent.

    Apartment seeker Molly Schmidt was hoping to find a Hollywood rental this week, complete with incentives -- one month's free rent and a free parking space. Common earlier this year, most landlords aren't offering such goodies today. She just landed a one-bedroom apartment in Hollywood for $1,250. The average rent in Los Angeles for a two-bedroom apartment with one bathroom in the second quarter was $1,893, according to RealFacts.com, which analyzes rental data. So she did pretty well.

    Still, "$1,250 is going to be tough," says Schmidt. "But it's a lot cheaper than buying."

    What the study doesn't consider is that while rents may escalate, mortgages don't. So if you plan on staying put for awhile, it may make more sense to think long-term than short-term. Rental units also frequently dictate whether you can have a pet, paint the dining room red, and put in new carpeting.
  • How To Value An Investment Property?

    Posted Under: Market Conditions in Miami, Home Selling in Miami, Investment Properties in Miami  |  May 28, 2013 10:22 AM  |  475 views  |  No comments

    Purchasing an investment property is a smart way to increase your income and add to your net worth. However, many different factors contribute to making a property a high-yielding investment. When considering a particular property, savvy investors look at specific metrics to determine its investment potential.

    Investment property

    Comparative Market Analysis

    Ultimately, any investment property is only worth what someone is willing to pay for it. You can determine this value by researching other similar properties that have sold in a recent period of time. A comparative market analysis gathers data on sales that have occurred within the past three to six months, as well as pending sales, to determine current pricing and compare features of the properties. Size, condition, location and amenities are some of the factors that must be evaluated in judging fair comparisons between properties. Sometimes, finding properties similar enough to the one in question is not possible, which makes it difficult to determine its precise value based in current market conditions.

    Net Operating Income

    If you plan is to rent the investment property while waiting for it to appreciate, you will need to evaluate it by the net operating income method. This method computes the mortgage payment, likely improvements, maintenance costs, insurance and other recurring expenses against what you can expect to receive for rental of the property. The method also computes the local rate for rentals of similar properties. The investor can then include this figure in the capitalization rate to gather an overall understanding of the property’s value.

    Capitalization Rate

    The capitalization rate is another method of determining the value of properties. This value takes the net operating income and divides it by the market value of the property. Investors use this computation to value properties going onto the real estate market. It combines expected operating expenses, gross rent, vacancy costs and non-rental income, as well as the selling price that can be expected. A higher cap rate indicates a more desirable property.

    Replacement Cost

    The replacement cost gives the investor a realistic view of what it would take to replace the improvements on the land, along with the value of the land itself. To compute this number, you must multiply the square footage of the building by the current construction costs that occur in the area where the building is located. Periodic high construction costs can significantly impact this method of valuation. However, this method can help to further refine understanding of the current value of property.

  • Miami, Moscow and Dubai to be Strongest Performing Global Markets in 2013

    Posted Under: Market Conditions in Miami, Home Buying in Miami, Investment Properties in Miami  |  May 28, 2013 10:18 AM  |  383 views  |  1 comment

    According to London-based Knight Frank, 2013 will be a year of continued growth in many prime cities around the globe despite continued economic uncertainty.

    Since the Lehman Brother's collapse the world's luxury markets have come full circle. The global downturn meant luxury prices tumbled as market confidence ebbed away but within 12 months key markets such as London, Hong Kong and Shanghai were rallying once more recording prime quarterly price growth of 5.5%, 5.6% and 9.8% respectively.
     
    In 2006 Knight Frank established the Prime Global Cities Index to measure the performance of luxury housing markets in some of the world's most important city markets. The index now stands 18.7% above its financial crisis low in Q2 2009. But it is the speed of the re-bound that is impressive; by Q1 2010 the index had regained its pre-crisis high.
     
    2013 Highlights include:
     
    • In 2013, expect prime residential prices across the 14 cities included in our forecast to rise by 2.5% on average, with Miami, Moscow and Dubai being the strongest performers.
    • A sharp slowdown in the global economy is the highest risk for the world's prime residential markets closely followed by government cooling measures.
    • However, the current economic uncertainty is also considered a key driver of demand in prime cities as HNWIs seek the shelter of 'safe-haven' investments.
    • Supply, or the lack of it, will be a key determinant of price performance in cities such as New York, Moscow and Miami in 2013.
    • Government-imposed regulatory measures will keep a lid on price growth in Asia in 2013 but the west-east shift in the economic balance of power suggests more promising prospects in the medium term.
     
    Prime property has done more than just weather the economic storm and outperform its mainstream counterparts; it has prospered as a direct result of the uncertain economic climate. The protracted Eurozone debt debacle, the geopolitical tensions surrounding the Arab Spring and the absence of alternative strong-performing asset classes have heightened its appeal.
     
    But aside from the climate of uncertainty, the rapid transition from 'crisis' to 'safe haven' was assisted by low interest rates, the preference amongst HNWIs for accessible and transparent markets and the unprecedented scale of wealth creation that was simultaneously occurring in the world's developing economies.
     
    Between 2006 and 2011 the number of centamillionaires (those with disposable assets of $100m+) increased by 29% globally. The number of centa-millionaires in Latin America, South-East Asia and South-Central Asia rose by 67%, 80% and 200% respectively over the same period.
     
    Cross-border investment flows have risen significantly as HNWIs in these emerging markets have looked beyond their national boundaries for double-digit annual returns. Miami has delivered for wealthy Brazilian, Venezuelan and Argentinean buyers while Dubai is the location of choice for an increasing number of Indian and Iranian HNWIs.
     
    What will be trending in 2013?
     
    In Knight Frank's 2012 Forecast we envisaged there would be three global trends that would be increasingly influential on the world's luxury residential markets; wealth creation, the growth of 'safe-haven' investments and the widening gap between East and West.
     
    In 2013 Knight Frank expects a continuation of the same trends but currency movements will have an increasing bearing on the flow of wealth from city to city. Prime prices in New York have slipped 2.6% since 2008 but taking currency movements into account this translates into a 17.6% discount for Chinese buyers.
     
    The search for unique "trophy" homes will gather pace in 2013 due in part to the increasingly high standard of new projects. Tall towers in the main gateway cities are already capturing the attention of an expanding number of HNWIs and we expect this trend to intensify.
     
    In the coming year the world's wealthy will continue to micro-manage their property portfolios weighing up lifestyle gains against tax benefits and currency movements but central to most decisions will be price performance, both historic and forecast.
     
    The forecast
     
    Barring a collapse of the euro, the US toppling off its fiscal cliff or Asian protectionism being ramped up, the outlook for luxury homes in the world's key cities is one of quiet optimism.
     
    The Knight Frank forecasts shown in the map below represent our view as to where we consider prime prices are headed in 2013; for comparison purposes we have also shown each city's actual price performance in the year to September 2012. In 2013 we expect prime prices across the 14 cities surveyed to rise on average by 2.5%. In 2012 we predicted average price growth of 0.6%.
     
    In 2013, we expect prices to rise or remain flat in eleven of the 14 cities included in our forecast. Moscow is expected to record the strongest price growth of all 14 cities (we forecast annual growth of 10%) due to tight prime supply and the expected release of a number of superprime projects.
     
    Dubai provides another good news story; here we expect prices in the luxury villa market to rise by between 5% and 10% in 2013. The volume of enquiries from professionals relocating from the UK and Asia is rising while the supply of high quality family homes is largely static.
     
    Prices are expected to fall in only three cities - Paris, Geneva and Shanghai - but in each case by less than 5%.
     
    In Paris, the market has been sluggish in the second half of 2012 but we expect greater clarity to emerge in 2013 once President Hollande's austerity measures have bedded in. New development is still limited in markets such as Paris which may help sales absorptions in spite of political dampening measures.

    Geneva has seen foreign demand fluctuate in 2012 and borrowing power has been affected by new lending legislation.
     
    Shanghai meanwhile is set to see a continuation of the home purchase restrictions that came into force this year. This includes preventing single persons that are non-resident from buying property in the city.
     
    In 2013 supply constraints are expected to be a determining factor for a number of cities. The shortage of top-end homes in Moscow and Miami is expected to support price growth. But in Monaco and New York although the lack of luxury homes is also evident there is not enough of an imbalance to drive prices significantly higher in 2013.
     
    Mainstream housing market forecasts are arguably more straightforward than prime. By scrutinizing key indicators such as house prices to income ratios, house prices to rent ratios, interest rates and disposable incomes it is possible to gauge levels of affordability. The prime market however operates according to a different set of dynamics.
     
    Instead, hard-to-quantify factors such as lifestyle, market confidence and the ease with which HNWIs can exit a market are often the critical factors under consideration. The current situation in Asia where markets are increasingly being controlled by government regulatory measures also make it harder to take a true reading of a prime markets' capacity for growth.
     
    Measuring risk
     
    While the forecasts we have presented represent what we believe to be the most likely outcome for 2013, there remains a number of derailing factors which have the potential to knock our forecasts off course.
     
    With no solution to the ongoing crisis in the Eurozone on the horizon, it is no surprise that both global and domestic economic factors remain the biggest risk to property prices in 2013.
     
    While international locations such as Geneva, Monaco, Dubai and Hong Kong rank the slowing global economy as the biggest risk, there are more insular concerns surrounding the health of domestic economies in the growth cities of Kuala Lumpur, Mumbai, Ho Chi Minh City and Sydney.
     
    Government intervention has become increasingly important both in mature real estate markets, such as London and Paris, but also in rapidly expanding ones, such as Singapore where the government has recently introduced tighter measures for foreign workers and placed restrictions on home loans. Figure 4 provides a ranking of the degree of risk posed by the main cooling measures.
     
    Further regulatory controls in prime cities around the world, most notably a 15% additional stamp duty for foreign buyers in Hong Kong and an increase in stamp duty for homes worth over £2m in the UK, could have an impact at the very top end of the market.
     
    Interestingly, given their proximity to the problem and wider concerns about the health of the global economy, not one of the European cities surveyed ranked the Eurozone crisis as the highest risk adding further weight to the idea that prime locations have benefitted from their 'safe haven' status and continue to attract investment against the backdrop of sovereign debt concerns and geo-political uncertainty.
     
    However, the lack of available finance, shrinking job markets and low consumer confidence in the region could weaken demand, even at the luxury end of the market.
     
    Knight Frank has ranked interest rates, high inflation and low household income growth and the introduction of large scale housebuilding programs as low risks for the majority of locations.
     
    Beyond the core risks examined above, there are countless factors such as currency fluctuations, tax changes and the revision of planning rules which could change the patterns of demand and supply in the world's prime markets. But the fundamentals are likely to remain unaltered; the supply of luxury homes is tight in most cities and global demand is rising exponentially.


    global-prime-city-residential-performance.jpg
  • Miami vive un nuevo “boom” inmobiliario

    Posted Under: Market Conditions in Doral, Home Buying in Doral, Home Selling in Doral  |  April 25, 2013 6:35 PM  |  456 views  |  No comments

    El auge de viviendas de lujo, muchas de ellas compradas por latinoamericanos, es uno de los imanes de la “ciudad del sol”.

    Los bajos precios, un nuevo modelo urbanístico y las condiciones naturales de la ciudad.
    Los bajos precios, un nuevo modelo urbanístico y las condiciones na...
    Miami, Florida,

    Estados Unidos

    Miami se está adentrando en un nuevo boom inmobiliario, alimentado por las inversiones de latinoamericanos principalmente, que ha transformado la fisonomía de la ciudad y que tiene en las viviendas de lujo uno de sus grandes ganchos.

    Según el último informe de Christie’s sobre el mercado de inmuebles de lujo, Miami y sus alrededores se colaron en 2012 entre los principales mercados de este tipo en el mundo, gracias a la recuperación generalizada de la demanda y a los bajos precios.

    “Los compradores extranjeros han estado comprando propiedades de lujo en Miami como resultado de la incertidumbre sobre sus monedas, que a menudo se han devaluado con respecto al dólar”.

    Sin embargo, Christie’s calcula que el 55% de las compras que se cerraron entre octubre de 2011 y septiembre de 2012, ambos meses incluidos, fueron realizadas por residentes de Miami y se trató de inversiones en primeras residencias, muchas de ellas en zonas relativamente céntricas de la ciudad.

    Una ciudad transformada

    “Nunca he sido partidario de que la gente se mude cada vez más y más lejos de la ciudad. Creo que debe reencontrarse en el centro para que pueda hacer todo caminando, como ocurre en Chicago, Nueva York o Londres”, explica Jorge Pérez, uno de los artífices del diseño actual de Miami, donde cada vez se tienden más a la concentración vertical.

    Pérez, presidente de The Related Group, reconoció que su compañía tiene una gran responsabilidad en ese diseño que empieza a caracterizar a Miami, gracias a grandes edificios de apartamentos donde los “penthouses” suelen hacerse de lujo, pensados para grandes fortunas que quieren tener intimidad y buenas vistas, pero en zonas céntricas.

    Se calcula que en Miami había a finales del año pasado más de dos mil residencias con un precios superior al millón de dólares, la mitad que en Nueva York, pese a que la población de su área metropolitana no llega ni a representar una cuarta parte de la neoyorquina.

    “Hace diez años, uno iba a Flagler (la calle central de Miami) a las seis de la tarde y disparaba con una ametralladora y no le daba a nadie. Miami era una ciudad fantasma”, recuerda Pérez. “Eso ha cambiado -defiende el promotor-. No se ha producido un cambio tan rápido en ninguna otra ciudad del mundo. En diez años hemos creado una ‘ciudad’”.
    Beneficio en los precios

    “Cuando comenzamos en el Downtown con los primeros condominios de lujo la gente me decía ‘estás loco, aquí no va a vivir nadie’, pero ahora se ha expandido la ciudad y ya llega a (lo que se conoce como) Midtown y Design Distric”, recuerda.

    La compañía empezó en Miami Beach y luego se pasó al Miami continental, donde “tomamos muchos riesgos: empezamos a construir mucho y ahora hemos seguido hacia el norte, pero siempre son áreas a las que se puede llegar en bicicleta”.

    El boom del lujo ha favorecido que los precios de las viviendas en Miami y en el conjunto del sur de Florida ya estén a niveles de 2003, tras subir en torno al 11% en el último año, tras trece meses consecutivos de subidas interanuales. Incluso el alquiler registra subidas medias del 15% interanual.

    Según el índice Case-Shiller, en el sur de Florida los precios de compraventa subieron en 10% en 2012. 

  • US Existing Home Sales Slow, Prices Rise

    Posted Under: Market Conditions in Miami, Home Buying in Miami, Home Selling in Miami  |  April 24, 2013 9:34 AM  |  337 views  |  No comments
    The number of existing home sales dipped in March from the previous month, but prices continued to rise, according to the latest data from the National Association of Realtors.

    The volume of sales slipped 0.6 percent from February, but was still 10.3 percent higher than March a year ago. NAR blamed the month-to-month drop on "inventory constraints," which also pushed up prices.

    The national median price for an existing home was $184,300 in March, an 11.8 percent increase from the same month a year ago. The price increase was the largest year-over-year jump since November, 2005, NAR reports.

    Prices have now risen year-over-year for 13 consecutive months

    "Buyer traffic is 25 percent above a year ago when we were already seeing notable gains in shopping activity," NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun said. "In the same timeframe housing inventories have trended much lower, which is continuing to pressure home prices."

    The inventory of houses available for sale actually rose 1.6 percent in March from the previous month, but was still down 16.8 percent from a year ago. There is a 4.7-month supply of homes on the market at the current sales pace, compared to a 6.2-month supply a year ago.

    "The good news is home construction is rising and low mortgage rates are continuing to keep affordability conditions at historically favorable levels," Mr. Yun said. "The bad news is that underwriting standards remain excessively tight, while renters are getting squeezed by higher rents."

    Other key takeaways from the NAR report:
    • Distressed homes-foreclosures and short sales -accounted for 21 percent of March sales, down from 25 percent in February and 29 percent in March 2012. Thirteen percent of March sales were foreclosures, and 8 percent were short sales. Foreclosures sold for an average discount of 15 percent below market value in March, while short sales were discounted 13 percent.
    • The median time on market for all homes was 62 days in March, down from 74 days in February and is 32 percent below 91 days in March 2012.  Short sales were on the market for a median of 81 days, while foreclosures typically sold in 46 days and non-distressed homes took 66 days.  Thirty-seven percent of all homes sold in March were on the market for less than a month.
    • First-time buyers accounted for 30 percent of purchases in March, unchanged from February; they were 33 percent in March 2012.
    • All-cash sales were at 30 percent of transactions in March, down from 32 percent in February; they were 32 percent in March 2012.  Individual investors, who account for most cash sales, purchased 19 percent of homes in March, down from 22 percent in February; they were 21 percent in March 2012.
    • Existing-home sales in the West declined 1.7 percent to a pace of 1.18 million in March but are 4.4 percent above a year ago.  With notably constrained inventory conditions, the median price in the West rose to $258,100, up 26.1 percent from March a year ago, the largest increase among U.S. regions.
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