Miami condo market recovers causing development bounty
Latin American buyers are grabbing condo units in downtown Miami. Out of the 22,000 condos built before the housing burst, only 600 remain. As a result, more and more developers are buying lands as fast as they could and creating more condo projects.
Out of the many developments in the city, the most ambitious so far is the Brickell CityCenter, a $1.05 billion project with 5.4 million square foot. The project is slated to provide as much as 800 units in two 43-story towers to the city’s business area. Also, the area will be home to a hotel, a movie theater as well as a wellness center. With this project, the downtown area will soon see its first high-class shopping center.
The astonishing number of developments comes from the recovering housing market of Miami. More and more buyers are entering the market on the lookout for more condo units. Even foreign investors are going in to the city hoping to diversify their portfolios.
Last February, home prices in the city rose by 9.3 percent, the highest since May of 2006. This increase reveals that Miami is faring better than other cities in the country. Condos in the downtown area have risen to $440 per square foot compared to the previous $400 last year.
As much as 25 new condo projects have been announced in the city. Along with Brickell CityCenter, high developers like Related Group are starting to build their own residential towers. In the same area, eight buildings are under construction.
Swire Properties, the developers of Brickell CityCenter is seeing a good future for the condo market. However, the need for office space remains to be seen. The developers also see a strong demand for high-end retail as the downtown area is quickly growing to be more and more in demand especially with the number of luxury developments.
This direction in high-end shopping coincides with the new direction of Bal Harbour shops. The Whitman business open in 1965 and has been known to house luxury shopping almost exclusively. The family’s aggressive strategy in keeping off competition has remained a good move. Last year, sales of Whitmans were $2,810 per square foot, astronomically larger than the national average of $526.
More luxury shops are opening in the city. High-end brands like Louis Vuitton, Cartier and Hermes have recently opened business in the Design District of Biscayne Bay. And with others soon to open in Aventura Mall, the city is certainly becoming more and more attractive to the high-end retail shopper.