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South Florida Luxury Real Estate Market Sees Rush of Buyers – Variety

There’s an unprecedented rush for South Florida residential real estate. The pandemic accelerated demand across the state’s sun-kissed southeastern coastline as home buyers, relocating from areas with state personal income taxes (mainly New York, New Jersey and California), fueled a dramatic rise in property values.

Home values are up more than 50% year-over-year from 2020 to 2021 and rents in Miami alone jumped 31% in the same time frame, per real estate agency Redfin.

For those who want to buy in South Florida (from the Palm Beaches to Coral Gables and points south), patience is required, even more so if the property is an ultra-luxury waterfront manse on one of the region’s coveted private islands.

“There’s a very limited supply at the top tier of marketplace,” says Dina Goldentayer, a real estate agent at Douglas Elliman Miami Beach, who grossed $750 million in sales in 2021. “There’s a gap between buyers and sellers, and the amount of deal flow, considering demand.”

To bridge that gap, many deals are brokered off market, where buyers have very little leverage, she says, as sellers are not compelled to sell under these scenarios.

Goldentayer specializes in Miami Beach, where the sophisticated nightlife, high-octane lifestyle, oceanfront living and year-round fine weather results in its own rarefied pocket of demand and premium pricing.

“It may take three strikes to get a home and the buyer must have a willingness to overpay by 10% to 15%,” she says.

Most in demand are homes directly on the beach, where values have hit up to $4,000 per square-foot.
“Larger condos and penthouses are in total upswing,” she adds as buyers see them as viable single-family home replacements (with the important add-on of security multi-stories provide).

Some condo towers draw a slew of entertainment business buyers: Faena House, Arte Surfside, the Surf Club, Four Seasons Private Residences and the striking Zaha Hadid-designed One Thousand Museum Miami are top of list.

Goldentayer is currently repping a 44th floor, 4,600-sq.-ft., four-bedroom, five-bath, half-floor residence at the 60-story One Thousand Museum. The designer-furnished unit, with a view-rich, east to west flow-through floor plan, is listed at $8.2 million.

“There’s no shortage of beautiful condos,” says Jill Eber of the Jills Zeder Group, a luxury residential firm affiliated with Coldwell Banker Realty.

Whether on Biscayne Bay or the Atlantic Ocean, from walkable Brickell north to Bal Harbour and Surfside, multimillion-dollar units and developments continue to hit the market. However, today’s trophy purchase remains an island house on one of Miami Beach’s man-made islands.

Jennifer Lopez and Alex Rodriguez famously bought a $32.5 million mega-manse on Star Island in August 2020. The Jills brokered the area’s priciest single-family home deal: a $75 million nine-bedroom, 11-bath spread on a waterfront, 15,000-sq.-ft. lot on Star Island.

“Modern houses are very sought after here,” says Eber.

She recently listed 30 Palm Ave., a $43 million Palm Island estate within a guard-gated community. There’s 100 feet of waterfront and 100-foot boat dock behind the 13,144 sq.-ft. glass and stone guest house open to the air contemporary mansion with plentiful water views.

Seeking an even more private island, one without bridge access? A short ferry ride from Miami Beach is Fisher Island (named for the city’s original developer) where two deep-water marinas, a nine-hole golf course and security await. Current residential listings start at $3.49 million and go up from there.

Domestic buyers are primarily snapping up listings, with a fair amount of new buyers from California, drawn by the fair tropical weather and favorable tax status, Eber says.

The competitive market where demand is outstripping inventory is forcing luxury home buyers to be creative and more flexible than they ever would have imagined, says Douglas Elliman’s
Senada Adzem.

“In the past, buyers had so many more choices and options,” says the Boca Raton-based agent. “Now they have to be open to other geographic areas or consider properties that need renovation. And they literally need to bend over backward to accommodate sellers.”

Goldenthayer puts the coastal real estate rush in perspective. “It’s not a stock trade,” she points out. “It’s what it takes to live in your dream home.”

Adzem’s recommendation: “Be prepared: manage your expectations and be willing to pay a premium for a property that you love.”



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