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Keyes Q3 Luxury Sales Report for Broward

Keyes Luxury Q3 Sales Report for Miami-Dade

Keyes Luxury Q3 Sales Report for Miami Beach

Downtown Miami: More Than a Gateway to the Beach


From a tourism perspective, the city of Miami has long been a gateway to Miami Beach, the sand-fringed barrier island lined in glamorous resorts. But in the past several years, downtown Miami has been undergoing renovation, first as a cultural destination – its acclaimed Perez Art Museum Miami opened in 2013 – and more recently as a leisure destination with the recent opening of new hotels such as the SLS BrickellLangford and East, Miami, restaurants led by the Uruguayan import Quinto La Huella and bars including the rooftop Pawn Broker.

Set to deliver more visitors directly to downtown, the new Brightlinetrain connecting Miami to Palm Beach is scheduled to open by year’s end. The privately funded, high-speed line will run from MiamiCentral Station, an 11-acre downtown development that will include offices, with a market-style food hall and shops to follow in 2018. Brightline’s streamlined express trains, offering free Wi-Fi and extra wide aisles to accommodate strollers, are designed to reach Fort Lauderdale in 30 minutes and Palm Beach in an hour. Construction of an extension to Orlando expected to begin next year.

“Everyone depends on cars here, so we have to make it attractive,” said AnneMarie Mathews, a former spokeswoman for Brightline. “On the other hand, everyone is frustrated by traffic.”

Collectively, these developments make for a lively urban core with many attractions — except for the beach — within walking distance.


Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science, with free Metromover electric train passing by.CreditRolando Diaz for The New York Times

Downtown Miami is already manageable without a car, as I discovered on a recent stay at the 126-room Langford Hotel. Just a few blocks from the new train station, the hotel opened in a 1925 former bank last year with a rooftop bar, Pawn Broker, serving daiquiris along with views of the expanding skyline.

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“To know Miami is to know downtown,” said Paul George, the resident historian at the HistoryMiami Museum, who leads downtown tours. He pointed out the 1926 Moorish-influenced Olympia Theater and 1920s skyscrapers such as the Dupont Building. “There’s more history and more archaeology downtown than anywhere in metro Miami.”

Much of downtown’s redevelopment lies south across the Miami River in an area known as Brickell, accessible on foot or via the free Metromover electric train operated by the county transportation authority. Brickell’s new anchor, opened last November, is the $1.05-billion Brickell City Center, which includes a 500,000-square-foot luxury mall. Spread over three city blocks, the center puts a tropical spin on new urbanism, with doorless entryways at ground level to encourage pedestrian flow and bridges built above the streets to maintain public access.

“We used to joke that Miami was a suburban city. Today it’s a real city,” said Bernardo Fort-Brescia, a founder of the architectural firm Arquitectonica that designed the Brickell City Center. “Everything is new and new is good here. People are open to new ideas.”


Dishes at Bazaar Mar, one of two restaurants at the SLS Brickell hotel. CreditRolando Diaz for The New York Times

Global brands such as OndadeMar beachwear from Colombia and Giuseppe Zanotti shoes from Italy are mall tenants. Even some of the restaurants are imports, including Big Easy Winebar & Grill from the South African golfer Ernie Els.

The complex also houses the luxury hotel East, Miami, the first North American venture from Hong Kong-based Swire Properties. Its 5th-floor restaurant Quinto La Huella is a spinoff of the original bohemian beachfront grill in stylish José Ignacio, Uruguay, with an umbrella-shaded terrace and an authentic Uruguayan grill crisping everything from squash to grass-fed beef.

Among other newcomers, the SLS Brickell hotel features interiors by the French designer Philippe Starck and an Italian restaurant from the popular Miami chef Michael Schwartz. The W Miami opened last summer with a cocktail lounge on the 50th floor overlooking Biscayne Bay.


Much of the recent redevelopment is related to a 2009 master plan developed by the Miami Downtown Development Authority, a quasi-governmental agency financed by property taxes, to capitalize on the waterfront setting, promote the city as an international business center and remodel its major streets. It released a demographic report last fall counting close to 90,000 downtown residents, up 150 percent since 2000.

Many projects are yet to come — the master plan runs to 2025 — including a redesign of Biscayne Boulevard to feature a grand promenade similar to Las Ramblas in Barcelona.

As Mr. George, the historian, puts it: “Downtown is coming back and still has its best days of comeback ahead of it.”

Home sales drop, prices rise in South Florida prior to Hurricane Irma’s landfal

Total resi sales fell in all three counties last month, with some showing double-digit declines in condo sales

Prior to the arrival of Hurricane Irma, South Florida’s residential markets continued posting declines in home sales and increases in prices, according to August figures from the Florida Realtors.


In Miami-Dade County, residential sales fell by 9.7 percent to 2,158 from 2,389 the year before. Single-family homes fared even worse, with a 13.4 percent drop in sales to 1,073 from 1,239, according to the Miami Association of Realtors. Existing condo sales, which excludes the preconstruction market, saw a 5.7 percent annual drop to 1,085 from 1,150 closings.

But home prices continued rising, now for nearly six years. The median price of a single-family home in Miami-Dade was $337,500 in August, up 12.5 percent from $300,000 a year ago. For condos, the median price rose to $225,000 from $215,000, up 4.7 percent from the previous year.


Broward County’s housing market sang a similar tune as Miami’s last month. Residential sales declined 9.3 percent to 2,884 from 3,180 in August 2016, according to the Realtors of the Palm Beaches and Greater Fort Lauderdale. Single-family home sales fell 8.1 percent to 1,524 from 1,658; while condo and townhouse sales dropped 10.6 percent annually to 1,360 from 1,522.

The median prices of homes, condos and townhomes also rose. For single-family homes, prices increased 7.7 percent to $350,000 from $325,000. The median price of a condo or townhouse jumped 7.8 percent to $156,000 from $144,755 a year ago.

Palm Beach

Palm Beach also sold fewer residential properties in August, although the declines were less dramatic than in Miami-Dade and Broward.

Residential sales fell by 2.9 percent to 2,715 from 2,796 the year before. Sales of single-family houses dropped 7.9 percent to 1,550 from 1,683, while condo and townhouse sales increased 4.7 percent to 1,165 from 1,113, according to the Florida Realtors.

The median price of a single-family home increased by 7.9 percent to $340,000, while it rose 9.4 percent to $174,000 for condos and townhouses.

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An earlier version of this story provided the incorrect number of sales of single-family homes in Miami-Dade.

Miami luxury condo sales surged in July


AUGUST 24, 2017 6:18 PM

Sales of existing luxury condos (priced over $1 million) in Miami-Dade jumped 51.1 percent year-over-year in July, with the number of sales rising from 45 to 68, according to the latest monthly report by the Miami Association of Realtors released Thursday.

“Sellers are becoming more realistic with their prices, especially at the top of the market,” said Christopher Zoller, the 2017 Miami Association of Realtors chairman, in a statement. “The recent run-up of the stock market and the potential for interest rate hikes are also encouraging more buyers to come off the sidelines and purchase Miami real estate.”

But buyers with tighter budgets again faced higher prices, as the county median jumped 12 percent from July 2016, from $299,000 to $335,000. That may explain why sales for single-family homes decreased by 1 percent, from 1,128 to 1,117.

The drop in single-family home sales mirrored the national trend. Existing home sales in the U.S. fell 0.8 percent from June to 4.84 million, according to the National Association of Realtors. Overall sales are still 1.7 percent higher year-over-year.

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Cover Story: Surprising number of South Florida condos flipping at a loss

The majority of condo buyers in Miami-Dade County’s recent building boom were investors seeking to capitalize on rising value, but a surprising number of unit flips in new buildings have been for a loss.

“There are just a lot more units for sale than there are buyers,” said Andrew Stearns, CEO of Miami-based StatFunding, explaining the discounted sales.

Condo experts have witnessed declining values in condos sales in recent months, especially in Miami neighborhoods with the most development. And that weaker pricing has slowed plans for condo developers, which has major ramifications for the building industry as condo projects yield the most lucrative jobs.

Dodge Data & Analytics also reported that multifamily construction declined 43 percent in South Florida in the first six months of 2017.

Meanwhile, the huge overhang of existing condo inventory in Miami-Dade – 13.6 months at the current sales pace as of June – plus the pipeline of units under construction could force condo investors to lower their prices if they are truly serious about selling. That may be an opportunity for buyers, but it threatens to undercut developer pricing.

For example, Miami-based financing and real estate investment firm StatFunding looked at the IconBay condo completed in Edgewater in 2015. Of the 21 units that have been flipped, 12 sold for less than what the investors originally paid to developer Related Group.

The last profitable flip at IconBay was in April 2016, with the 12 sales since then all at a loss, ranging from 2 to 16 percent below the original purchase price, according to numbers verified by the Business Journal using county records.

StatFunding also found that nearly one-third of the 66 units listed for resale at IconBay are asking for discounts to their original purchase prices.

The market for condos in new buildings is generally slow and when they do sell, it’s generally for 5 to 10 percent below asking price, said StatFunding’s Stearns.

“Part of what is driving the overhang in inventory is the new construction is competing with the legacy stuff,” he added.

Average condo resale pricing in Greater Downtown Miami was down 5.4 percent through June 2017, but sales activity is increasing, said Anthony Graziano, senior managing director of Integra Realty Resources, which analyzes the market for the Downtown Miami Development Authority.

Many developers with less than 60 percent of their projects sold are offering incentives to boost sales, while it has been difficult for early-stage projects to get off the ground, he added.

This trend is unique to Miami-Dade, as Broward and Palm Beach counties where the luxury condo markets are smaller have had fewer international investors willing to flip.

Carlos Rosso, president of the condo division at the Related Group, said he hasn’t lowered prices, but he has boosted broker commissions and offered some concessions for buyers. Related Group is focusing on selling out the projects it has under construction, while holding off on launching sales at future condo sites.

“The market is slower than it was before,” Rosso said. “We don’t characterize it as a crisis problem. Some people will wait and some people will want their money out and sell at a discount.”

No flashback to recession

While red ink has been showing up in more condo sales, this is nothing like the housing crisis of the last decade. In 2007, new condos were often purchased with low down payments and high levels of debt and bank loans funded the majority of condo development costs. When banks seized units or whole projects, massive selloffs caused prices to plunge more than 50 percent.

Now, there’s little leverage in the condo market. Most buyers closed with cash, so there’s no rush to sell at a loss. Depositors usually put down 50 percent, so that’s a strong reason to close even if the market has a modest decline in value. Construction financing has been on more conservative terms, with developers depending more on equity and deposits.

“The reason you aren’t feeling that this time around is you don’t have foreclosure headlines,” said Ron Shuffield, CEO of EWM Realty International. “Some developers with expensive sales centers may not go forward. Some people took a $50,000 loss and took their capital back to their country.”

There are still many buyers in the market, perhaps more than ever, but most are waiting for lower pricing, Shuffield said. The problem is that not enough sellers are realistic about today’s prices. Once sellers lower their prices, units will move, but the discounts won’t be anything like the last recession, he added.

The only condo project that stalled in mid-construction was the H3 Hollywood, which was seized in foreclosure in April by the general contractor. At least two proposed condo sites in Miami-Dade are facing foreclosure, although they haven’t broken ground. Nearly 6,700 units that had originally been planned as condos in coastal Miami-Dade have been scrapped for various reasons, according to

Most condo buyers won’t get hurt if they can wait for values to recover, but developers sitting on leveraged land could have trouble, Graziano said.

“The guys who bought land for $800 to $1,000 per square foot and, unless condos come back to peak pricing, which is not likely for 24 to 36 months, will be in the land deal for a long time,” Graziano said. “The good news is no federally-chartered banks are lending on land. They were private lenders and a host of convertible equity lenders. They don’t go through traditional foreclosure.”

New units compete with resales

For the developers with recently completed buildings, discounted resales have created tough competition.

In the 390-unit Brickell City Centre Reach, seven units have flipped so far since it was completed in 2016. Three sold at a loss, one broke even, and three sold for gains of 6 percent or less. In most cases, condo sellers pay a 6 percent commission, in addition to closing costs, developer fees and carrying expenses, so a price gain of no more than 6 percent probably isn’t a profit at the end of the day.

While some units in Brickell City Centre, a massive project with a mall, hotel and office building, have been listed and sold for below their original prices, developer Swire Properties still has 5 percent of Reach and about 50 percent of the neighboring condo Rise to sell.

Maile Aguila, senior VP of residential sales for Swire Properties, said it won’t lower new unit prices to compete with resales and it hasn’t raised broker commissions. Sales are better this year than last year, she said.

“We have never lowered prices to move units,” said Aguila, who has been with Swire for 20 years. “We don’t react to the market the way everyone else does. This is first phase of a very large project, so if we don’t establish a market now we won’t build towards the future phases.”

Some developers took a different path. Property Markets Group CEO Kevin Maloney said he recently executed a discounted bulk sale of the final 10 units at Echo Aventura, which opened in January 2016.

“I will make $50 per square foot less but I would have had 10 or 12 units to sell over 12 months, so for me I would rather have the cash than the vacant units,” Maloney said. “If I had to reduce them by 30 percent, I wouldn’t do it.”

Maloney said he’d already turned a profit on Echo Aventura, so that just reduced his profits a bit.

While it works to complete two other condo projects in Miami-Dade, PMG has apartment projects under construction in both Miami and Fort Lauderdale and it recently bought another downtown Miami apartment development site from a church. Maloney could seek approval for hundreds more condos on the downtown Miami properties, but said he’ll wait until the market comes back.

“If you go in the condo world and set out a sales office it is expensive. You have one shot and you don’t want to fail,” Maloney said. “You better make sure you will get the momentum. I don’t think the absorption is there at the price point.”

Miami-based Fortune International Group is already representing 14 condo projects and is being selective about taking on new launches, said Jim Cohen, senior VP of development sales. The time isn’t right for another condo in Sunny Isles Beach, where it’s currently building the Ritz-Carlton Residences and the Jade Signature, but it took over sales for the proposed Missoni Baia in Edgewater.

Fortune International had the developer reduce the size of units in Missoni Baia to better meet market demand while keeping the price per square foot the same, Cohen said. The building is about 30 percent pre-sold.

Prices in Missoni Baia average around $900 per square foot, which is considerably more than resale listings of recently-completed units in Edgewater.

“I wouldn’t say sales are better this year than last year,” Cohen said. “We are seeing more people visit our sales centers though.”

Daniel Kodsi said he isn’t worried about discounted resales impacting his Paramount Miami Worldcenter, under construction with about 65 percent of its 522 units pre-sold. Not all buildings have seen discounts and, in fact, some buyers have flipped for considerable profits. Kodsi said it’s the high-quality buildings that have performed better and he believes Paramount will prove valuable in the long term because of its larger unit sizes and unique amenities.

“Not all cars are created equal and neither are condos,” Kodsi said. “We can’t throw the entire condo market into one bucket.”

With completion of Paramount slated for the first quarter of 2019, Kodsi is confident he has plenty of time to sell. By that time, many of the other condos under construction in Miami will have been completed and his buildings will be among the few options for buyers who prefer new units.

Meanwhile, the market further north was strong enough for Paramount Residences Fort Lauderdale to raise prices during construction, Kodsi said. It is 92 percent pre-sold with completion expected in October, but Fort Lauderdale condo buyers are mostly domestic, he said.

Frustrations for flippers

In Miami-Dade, thousands of condo owners have a difficult decision to make. The county has about 1,800 units in buildings completed since 2015 listed for resale, according to StatFunding. found 9,083 units under construction and another 16,111 planned or proposed.

Jack McCabe, head of Deerfield Beach-based McCabe Research and Consulting, said 30 percent to 40 percent of units in new Miami buildings are typically listed for resale within 60 days after being sold by developers. The more buildings that get completed, that will saturate the market with inventory and put further downward pressure on prices, he said.

“We will see inventory really skyrocket between the end of this year and the end of 2019,” McCabe said.

Many people who reserved a pre-construction condo in Miami six or seven years ago would need to sell at a discount today, said Jay Parker, CEO of Douglas Elliman Florida Brokerage. The more important trend than pricing is increased sales volume this year, which will bring the swell of inventory down. Parker said prices will slowly come back.

“If everyone would relax on their prices, then we would sell them, but it’s hard to talk to people about losing money,” Shuffield said.

The question for flippers who get stuck holding is what to do in the meantime.

For many investors, the strategy is to rent the condos out. They will have more competition, though, as there are about 4,900 conventional apartments under construction in Greater Downtown Miami, according to Graziano.

The condos are at a disadvantage because they have considerable association fees and higher deposit requirements for renters, usually two months of security plus the first and last month’s rent, Graziano said. In some units, that could be $10,000. Plus, condo owners usually pay broker commission on the rent.

“When you are competing with professionally-managed, ‘Class A’ apartment projects, it is hard,” Graziano said. “Even if they have to sell at a loss today, they would rather do that than not have a renter.”

A SLOWING MARKET: Flippers hit and miss on Miami condos

Condo flipping is a fickle pursuit. Sometimes it hits big and other times it doesn’t work out.

In March 2017, Unit 901 in 400 Sunny Isles sold for $888,000. When it was bought new from the developer in February 2016, the price was $1.155 million.

Yet, the first flip just occurred in Palazzo Del Sol on wealthy Fisher Island. A unit that went for $5 million in 2014 closed for $5.8 million, said broker Dora Puig. “As the island approaches build out, values are bound to continue to increase,” she said.

Here is a look at flips in some other new condos based on county and MLS records. Keep in mind that gains of less than 6 percent were probably wiped out by broker commissions.

• Marina Palms North Tower in North Miami Beach: Of 21 flips since the building was completed in 2015, seven were at a loss, one broke even, and four were for gains of less than 6 percent.

• Millecento in Brickell: Of 19 flips since the building was completed in 2015, six were at a loss and four had gains of less than 6 percent.

• 400 Sunny Isles: Of 15 flips since the building was completed in 2015, six were for a loss and one was for a gain below 5 percent.

• Paseo in Downtown Doral: Of 11 flips since the building was completed in 2016, four were at a loss, plus four of the gains were below 2 percent.

• Bay House in Edgewater: Of nine flips since the building was completed in 2015, four were at a loss. So far in 2017, two units resold, both for a profit.

• Baltus House in Miami: Of six flips since the building was completed in 2015, four were at a loss and the two gains were less than 6 percent.

• Mansions of Acqualina in Sunny Isles Beach: Of six flips since the building was completed in 2015, only one was for a loss and most were very profitable.

BY THE NUMBERS: Condo values in South Florida in Q2

South Beach
Average price per square foot: $770
Annual change: +6.4%

Sunny Isles Beach
Average price per square foot: $537
Annual change: -4.3%

Average price per square foot: $408
Annual change: -7.5%

Fort Lauderdale
Average price per square foot: $291
Annual change: +5.1%

Average price per square foot: $265
Annual change: -5%

Downtown Miami
Average price per square foot: $209
Annual change: +4%

Boca Raton
Average price per square foot: $185
Annual change: -13.6%

Source: Douglas Elliman second quarter report

Brian Bandell covers real estate, foreclosures and health care. Get the latest news with our free daily newsletter. Click here to subscribe.

Home sales rise in Miami-Dade but dip in Broward


Real estate in Miami-Dade continues to boom, with the total sales volume in the second quarter of 2017 reaching $3.3 billion — a 3.1 percent jump from $3.2 billion mark a year ago.

According to figures released by the Miami Association of Realtors on Wednesday, the volume of sales transactions of existing single-family homes and condos rose 1.45 percent in the second quarter of 2017 over the same period in 2016. The total number of transactions grew from 7,590 transactions to 7,700.

In Broward County, the story wasn’t as rosy. The Greater Fort Lauderdale Realtors reported the number of single-family home sales dipped 6.7 percent in the second quarter of 2017, with 4,672 transactions. Condo sales were down 1.3 percent (4,738 transactions).

The median home sales price in Miami-Dade rose to $328,300 — the 22nd consecutive month of growth. Sales of existing condos dipped 2.6 percent, from 3,921 to 3,818. But the median condo sales price went up to $229,000, a 6.5 percent increase over last year.


“It’s a very good time to be buying and selling,” said Christopher Zoller, a Coral Gables broker and current chairman of the Miami Association of Realtors. “In the past two months alone, we’ve seen an incredible increase in traffic, thus the overall number of sales. June is usually the time of year when people are thinking about vacations, not buying a home.”

In Broward, the median home sales price shot up to $340,000, a 7.9 percent increase. Condo median sales prices also climbed to $155,000, a 9.2 percent rise.

Statewide, the median home sales price stands at $240,000.

Cash sales made up 38.6 percent of all closed transactions in Miami-Dade, which is more than double the national average of 18 percent and is an indicator of continued foreign investment in South Florida (out-of-town and foreign buyers often pay cash). More than half of existing condo sales (53.5 percent) and 23.9 percent of single-family home sales were paid in cash.

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Keyes Picks Up Another Award!

A big two weeks for the Keyes Company making two acquisitions and now winning a second award.

Keyes makes second brokerage acquisition in two weeks

Another week, another brokerage acquisition for Keyes Co.

Platinum Properties, a subsidiary of Keyes, acquired Jupiter-based Bluffs Real Estate and Investment Properties for an undisclosed sum. The deal added 25 agents and the office at 4050 South U.S. Highway 1 to Keyes.

The brokerage said that Bluffs generated $25 million in sales in 2016. It has listings in coastal Palm Beach and Martin counties, mostly from Juno Beach north.

“We know that the Bluffs team is filled with dedicated professionals, and we are eager to begin working alongside their experienced sales associates,” Keyes CEO Mike Pappas said. “This significantly strengthens our Platinum Properties brand.”

Bluffs was founded in 1985 and has been owned by Gail Lamborn since 2002.

This deal comes after Keyes acquired the Florida offices of Shorewood Real Estate on July 26. Keyes has more than 3,000 associates and nearly $6 billion in annual real estate sales and services, the company said.

“We plan to continue growing through strategic acquisitions over the rest of 2017 and beyond,” said Pappas. “Profit margins are tightening in the brokerage industry, so we’re seeing more and more consolidation of firms that do not have the size and scale to withstand the new reality.

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