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Miami, The New New York of the South

“Miami has really become the American Riviera,” said Ken Gorin, president and chief executive of The Collection in Coral Gables, which sells more Maseratis, McLarens and Porsches, combined, than any other dealership in the United States. “It’s where people want to be.”

Among those that are now being drawn to Miami are worldwide real estate investors, global financiers, industrial magnates and royal families. The well known developer Richard LeFrak, whose family built LeFrak City in Queens owns two development sites in Miami, and is building 1 Hotel & Homes South Beach, a new condominium, with Starwood Capital Group. “Miami is no longer the place where my grandma went to retire.” It looks like the New Yorkers really liked the project whose sales were launched during the recent Art Basel Miami Beach Fair. They bought three of the four penthouses that were sold. “New Yorkers love the convenience — it is just a two-and-a-half-hour flight — and of course, the warm weather,” he said.

Echo Brickell Penthouse - ARX SOLUTIONS
A 10,500-foot penthouse at Echo Brickell would set a record for the downtown Miami neighborhood if it gets its $37 million asking price - ARX SOLUTIONS

In 2014, Miami was ranked as the seventh most important city to high-net-worth individuals with more than $30 million in assets by the Annual Global Wealth Report (study published by the real estate brokerage firm Knight Frank). In 2009, the city was ranked 29th, so the ascension is obvious and totally understandable. Daniel de la Vega, the president of One Sotheby’s International Realty in Miami affirmed: “For us, $3,000 to $4,000 a square foot is crazy, but it is considered a bargain in some better Manhattan neighborhoods. New Yorkers typically went to Palm Beach for their vacation homes, but now they see Miami as a value so are coming here, driving up prices and creating a frenzy.”

According to a December 2014 market report done by the Miami brokerage firm ISG over the past 18 months:

  • The prices have risen by 11.5 percent along the beachfront in Miami;
  • The new condominiums were averaging $1,011 a square foot, up from $907 a square foot;
  • The number of units for sale has dropped by nearly 64 percent, to 623 units from 1,717 units;

In the present a number of high-priced penthouses are for sale, including several that surpass $3,000 a square foot, while the most expensive is a $60 million home for sale at Faena, the development where the Goldman Sachs chief executive Lloyd Blankfein and the Apollo Global Management co-founder Leon Black, both New Yorkers, have reportedly bought residences.

So, are we entitled to say that Miami is the New New York of the South, or not? Oh yeah, we forgot to mention the luxury brands of all kind that found their second home in Miami because Miami ranked ninth among the top 10 international luxury markets in a 2014 according to Christie’s International Real Estate report: Luxury Defined: An Insight Into the Luxury Residential Property Market. The other U.S. cities on the list were New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco.

“Miami is the most international city in the United States, particularly from a real estate point of view,” said Philip White, president and chief executive officer of Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates LLC.

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