Wednesday, March 5, 2014
Foreign Investments Drive Miami's Market Recovery
Although it gained its reputation as a popular destination for tourists and retirees in the 1980s, Miami has transformed into to a trend-setting international gateway to the United States. Nicknamed the "Capital of Latin America," Miami has seen foreign investments play a key role in the market boom. More than 62 percent of all closed real estate sales in 2013 were completed in cash, a hallmark of foreign purchases and a rate of more than twice the national average of 30 percent. New purchases by Millennials (20-to-34-year-olds) and renewed interest from retirees have also helped propel the Miami-Fort Lauderdale housing market to three consecutive years of record growth and price increases, according to the Miami Association of Realtors. The luxury market is especially hot right now, which is reflected in Miami's 2013 debut on Christie’s International Real Estate’s list of top 10 luxury residential markets.
One of the worst hit U.S. housing markets in the property bubble burst of 2008, homes sales in Miami-Fort Lauderdale have rebounded remarkably well. The median sales price for single-family homes in the area was up 19.7 percent in 2013 from the previous year, and total sales in 2013 of single-family homes were up 12.5 percent over 2012, putting the Miami-area home seller firmly in a strong position in the market. With a median sale price of $191,685 for the area, FSBO (for sale by owner) sellers listing their homes for sale in Miami without the services of a real estate agent will further benefit, saving the agent’s 6 percent commission, an average of $11,501 in the Miami-Fort Lauderdale market.
The most important features driving a purchase for Miami home buyers are in the areas of home amenities and floor plans, according to a 2014 survey by ForSaleByOwner.com. Central air conditioning tops buyers' lists of important features, a requirement for more than 60 percent of buyers in the Miami-Fort Lauderdale market. A garage or carport is next on the list, followed by an outdoor space, a single-level floor plan and an open layout. The most common deal breakers for buyers are a lack of central air, a home that is not in move-in condition, a lack of a garage or carport and a floor plan that is not single-story.
Popular Miami-Fort Lauderdale neighborhoods include Doral, home of the luxury Trump National Doral Miami and PGA's World Golf Championships; Coconut Grove, the oldest continuously inhabited neighborhood of Miami; and Coral Gables, nicknamed "The City Beautiful," one of the country's first planned communities. Such communities as Coral Springs, Liberty City and Historic Overtown, Bal Harbour, Little Havana and Miami Shores offer a wealth of restaurants, shopping and recreational and historical destinations for residents and tourists alike. Fort Lauderdale's Victoria Park, Colee Hammock and Rio Vista neighborhoods offer homebuyers the opportunity to purchase historic homes from the first half of the 1900s, beautifully restored and maintained.
Up next: San Francisco, the nation's hottest real estate market thanks to a booming tech industry and desirable location.
See what other cities made our Top Real Estate Markets list.