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Felipe Quintero's Blog

By Felipe Quintero | Agent in Miami, FL
  • ‘Transformation’ in South Florida housing market is sustainable, Metrostudy economist says

    Posted Under: General Area in Miami, Market Conditions in Miami, Investment Properties in Miami  |  April 24, 2013 2:33 PM  |  390 views  |  No comments

    ‘Transformation’ in South Florida housing market is sustainable, Metrostudy economist says

    April 24, 2013 12:00PM

    Brad Hunter

    As South Florida’s housing inventory shrinks, so does its vacant land, fueling a bidding war among builders and a rapid rise in construction costs and home prices, surveyor Metrostudy’s chief economist, Brad Hunter, said in an interview in the Sun-Sentinel.

    “A complete transformation has occurred. Two years ago, buyers were holding back because prices were still falling, and now there is urgency to buy,” Hunter reportedly said.

    To stay abreast of this “transformation,” Metrostudy researchers log 20,000 miles a quarter, driving through every active subdivision to count each new home, the newspaper reported.

    The pace of recovery in South Florida’s housing market is sustainable because of more rigid mortgage lending requirements and less speculative buying, according to Hunter.

    “We won’t get another bubble like we had before because those exotic, crazy mortgages don’t exist anymore…people are not buying for speculative reasons, so the new home market won’t get overbuilt. There is absolutely no danger in that,” the paper quoted Hunter as saying. [Sun-Sentinel] –Emily Schmall

  • South Florida hotels near full occupancy in March

    Posted Under: General Area in Miami, Market Conditions in Miami, Investment Properties in Miami  |  April 24, 2013 2:32 PM  |  415 views  |  No comments

    South Florida hotels near full occupancy in March

    April 24, 2013 02:00PM

    The Betsy South Beach

    South Florida hotels enjoyed a spike in occupancy rates in March compared to a year ago, according to the Miami Herald, citing Smith Travel Research’s recently-released figures.

    Hotels were 89.1 percent full in Miami-Dade, a jump of more than 4 percent from a year ago. Rates soared 14.4 percent to $238.12. Reviewing records as far back as 2005, no other month has come close, according to the Herald.

    Hotels in Palm Beach County ran 86.5 percent full, with an average daily rate of $208.93, the report showed. That’s up from 85 percent and $192.25 in March 2012.

    Broward County hotels achieved 88.4 percent occupancy last month, a 4.2 percent gain over March 2012, while guests paid an average $153.34 per room, up 8.6 percent from last year.

    Jeff Lehman, general manager of The Betsy, a boutique hotel in South Beach, credited “unprecedented” occupancy rates to “a perfect storm” of gorgeous weather, a string of holidays and major events, including Miami Beach’s Winter Music Conference.

    “The rest of the country was suffering through horrible weather and South Florida’s weather was just perfect,” Lehman told the Herald. [The Miami Herald] –Emily Schmall

  • One of final SoFi Ocean House sponsor units sells for $7M

    Posted Under: Market Conditions in Miami Beach, Home Selling in Miami Beach, Investment Properties in Miami Beach  |  April 10, 2013 2:54 PM  |  432 views  |  No comments

    One of final SoFi Ocean House sponsor units sells for $7M

    April 10, 2013 01:00PM

    Ocean House

    One of the last remaining sponsor units at the Ocean House condominium in South Beach has sold for $6.9 million, according to a statement today from One Sotheby’s Linda Gustafson, who represented the buyers.

    The 4,100-square-foot home has five bedrooms and 6.5 bathrooms. The identity of the buyers was not released.

    Ocean House, located at 125 Ocean Drive in the South of Fifth neighborhood in Miami Beach, has seen some other big sales as of late. In September, a 3,728-square-foot home traded hands for nearly $5.9 million. The following month, the condominium sold two-thirds of its 18 units since relaunching last May, with an average price of $5.3 million per unit.

    As for listings, a penthouse unit at Ocean House hit the market in November, asking $18.5 million. –Zachary Kussin

  • Life coach Tony Robbins purchases Palm Beach County home for $24.8M

    Posted Under: Market Conditions in Miami, Home Buying in Miami, Home Selling in Miami  |  April 10, 2013 2:51 PM  |  422 views  |  No comments

    Life coach Tony Robbins purchases Palm Beach County home for $24.8M

    April 10, 2013 02:00PM

    Tony Robbins and the interior of 750 South Ocean Boulevard

    Motivational speaker and life coach Anthony “Tony” Robbins purchased an oceanfront home at 750 South Ocean Boulevard in Manalapan for $24.75 million, according to a statement released today by the sponsor’s broker. This marks the second-highest price paid for a Palm Beach County home outside the town of Palm Beach, the statement said. The Corcoran Group’s Jim McCann represented the developer, called only 750 South Ocean. 

    “This was the only brand new home on the direct ocean in Palm Beach County available for purchase, and as soon as it hit the market there was a high level of interest,” McCann said in the statement.

    The developer, a Palm Beach real estate family, is also building a mansion on the adjacent property at 800 South Ocean Boulevard that they had planned on keeping for their own use. However the near record-setting sale has the family rethinking things.

    Robbins’ new Georgian style home has more than 11,000-square feet of living space on two acres and spans all the way from the Atlantic Ocean to the Intracoastal Waterway.

    McCann said that property should be complete in about 45 days, but whether or not the developer chooses to sell remains to be seen. – Evan Bleier

  • Florida is overwhelming choice of Brazilian visitors

    Posted Under: Market Conditions in Miami, Home Buying in Miami, Investment Properties in Miami  |  April 10, 2013 2:48 PM  |  376 views  |  No comments

    Florida is overwhelming choice of Brazilian visitors





    South Florida residents are accustomed to hearing Portuguese accents as Brazilian visitors flock to stores and tourist attractions, but they may not be aware of just how popular the Sunshine State is in Brazil.

    Mauro Vieira, Brazil’s ambassador to the United States, said Friday that new figures show that of the 1.8 million Brazilians who traveled abroad in 2012, 75 percent came to Florida.

    “Florida is a very important state for Brazil,’’ said Vieira, who was a speaker at the 8th Annual Latin American Symposium, which is organized by the University of Miami’s Center for Hemispheric Policy.

    Speakers at the day-long event, which was held at the Four Seasons Hotel Miami, addressed everything from the changing political landscape in Latin America and the need for economic reforms to trade and political issues that are driving the U.S.-Latin American relationship. Juan Carlos Pinzón, Colombia’s Minister of Defense, also discussed his country’s strategy for lowering violence levels associated with drug trafficking, guerrilla movements and organized crime.

    Brazil, meanwhile, is Florida’s top trading partner with $19.6 billion in trade last year and the second largest source of international visitors. Canada is still tops. But in Miami-Dade County, Brazilians have dethroned Canadians as the top international visitors.

    Visa-free travel between the United State and Brazil is a top priority for the U.S. travel industry and for Bill Talbert, president and chief executive of the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau, in particular.

    Talbert has become a tireless advocate for a visa waiver program that would allow Brazilians to travel to the United States for up to 90 days without a visa.

    A working group to study elimination of visa requirements between the two countries met for the first time last November.

    But Vieira said, “This is a very, very long negotiation. It is not an easy one.”

    He said the first step in the process of getting a visa waiver program may be setting up a Global Entry program between the two countries.

    Under the U.S. Global Entry program, pre-approved, low-risk travelers, who are U.S. citizens or legal residents, get expedited processing through Customs when they enter the United States. They pay a fee of $100 every five years.

    The ambassador said a similar program would have to be set up in Brazil, and then pre-approved travelers from both countries could take part in a reciprocal program.

    A visa waiver program would have to be approved by the Brazilian Congress and “will take longer,’’ said Vieira. “It is a work of patience.”

    Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/04/05/3325887/florida-is-overwhelming-choice.html#emlnl=Business#storylink=cpy

  • $650M renovation of Fort Lauderdale airport planned

    $650M renovation of Fort Lauderdale airport planned

    April 09, 2013 10:00AM

    The Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood airport

    Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport will get a new look with $650 million in renovations, Broward County Aviation Director Kent George explained Friday, according to a report from the South Florida Business Journal.

    The planned renovation will make ceilings higher in existing terminals, entirely rebuild the international terminal and create a framework for the Florida East Coast Railway to access the airport in the future, the Business Journal said.

    Fort Lauderdale officials hope to boost tourism with the revamped airport, emphasizing the proximity of the airport to the Port Everglades Convention Center and the city’s busy cruise ports. [South Florida Business Journal] --Guelda Voien

  • Following Doral Resort & Spa acquisition, Ivanka remakes Trump Organization image

    Posted Under: Market Conditions in Miami, Home Buying in Miami, Investment Properties in Miami  |  April 9, 2013 3:17 PM  |  374 views  |  No comments

    Following Doral Resort & Spa acquisition, Ivanka remakes Trump Organization image

    April 09, 2013 12:00PM

    From left: the Doral resort and Ivanka Trump

    Ivanka Trump — daughter of real estate magnate Donald Trump and wife to real estate scion Jared Kushner — is expanding her role at her father’s company, the Trump Organization, adding a more feminine flavor to the company’s image, Forbes reported.

    Following the $150 million bargain acquisition of the Miami’s Doral Resort & Spa last summer, Ivanka has has begun working to transform the staunchly masculine Trump brand, lending her own design aesthetic to the company’s growing collection of hotels and golf resorts.

    In her early days in real estate, she told Forbes that she tried to assimilate.

    “I wore my hair in a bob,” she told Forbes. “I wore a black pantsuit.”

    Now with greater confidence, she says she sees advantages to being the only woman.

    “I think being a little different has its advantages,” she told Forbes. “And I used to joke with my brothers that whenever we had a meeting with men, they were always more likely to follow up with me.”

    Trump also has a fashion line, including footwear, handbags, fragrance and outerwear, under her name.

    As for the Doral, which had a handful of owners before Ivanka, renovations are expected to be complete in 2014. The Trump family will shell out $200 million during the next two years to renovate the resort.

    Beyond Doral, Ivanka also beat out major players, such as Hilton and Waldorf Astoria, to redevelop the Old Post Office Pavilion, located in Washington, D.C., which she bought early last year and where she will also invest $200 million to convert the site into a high-end hotel property. [Forbes] –Zachary Kussin

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